The 2 day seminar with Guus van den Brekel is now over. It was two very interesting days with a lot of ideas on how to make your average everyday easier and also how to gain access to information in a different way through other interfaces and layouts. You had the toolbar software (for instance conduit) that made it easy to customize your own toolbar for the library like for instance the way they have done it at the Medical Library of Groningen or in a completely different way, that's up to you.Since the introduction of the toolbar at Groningen medical library they have had 700 downloads of the toolbar.Since it hard for us to download something because of the IT department regulations and restrictions we have to settle for an other solution than the actual downloading, for instance a webpage with the searching functionalities or a customized desktop, its possible to use it also with roaming profiles. We were also shown a lot of widgets and gadgets that could make or desktop and working space more fun than the boring standardized layout most of us use. The best way to summarize the seminar is maybe to say that he has planted a seed, showing us that they way to go is to fight a war against closed systems, not-open source software, and the best way to do that is with representing a alternative that is good enough and functioning on its own. We are our own masters that has to take the battle against very bureaucratic solutions that takes ages to update and maintain. The way to go is to personalize your way to the information retrieval systems, have the user in mind, you have to build your way around the impossible software (Metalib, or our LMS "It's Learning" that is bought and not actually functioning the way it is suppose to function, or you have to build the systems yourself from scratch in order to work. Some of the most important aspectes are time saving, small amount of maintanance and also that the solutions should be easy to use and that the processes behind it is automatized.

Thanks Guus for a very nice introdution into your world and realities faced at the Groningen Medical Library.