20 years of ILI

As ILI celebrates its 20th birthday this year, Conference Director Kat Allen reflects on its history.

When ILI began in 1999, the first dot com bubble was in full swing and sci-fi film The Matrix was released. That year, SMS texting was just taking off, and ‘wifi’ was listed for the first time in the Oxford English Dictionary. Google and Amazon were not yet the global giants they are today. Social media, Wikipedia, smart phones and tablets were several years away, and open access was yet to become a reality.

With hindsight, the mid-aughts were remarkable: between 2004 and 2007 we saw the launch of YouTube, Twitter, the iPad, Kindle and iPhone – just in time for ILI’s 10th birthday in 2008.

All of those developments – and the impact they were having on the information landscape – were of course discussed at ILI. But ILI has never just been about the technology. The focus has always been on the many ways in which libraries and info pros from all sectors have created ground-breaking and imaginative services that deliver real impact to their organisations and their users. And that’s what we’ll be celebrating this year.

Delegates are encouraged to move freely between any of ILI’s six conference tracks which, in 2018, comprise:

  • Future focus: the next-gen library, the next-gen librarian
  • Understanding users, usage and UX
  • Inclusion and inspiration: libraries making a difference
  • Content, collections, collaborations
  • Magical marketing
  • New learning and new scholarly communications

Tech-led innovations feature in every track and the role of libraries in supporting inclusivity, diversity and community is celebrated throughout the programme. In addition, there are informal activities for all at ILI Extra, including one hour mini-workshops on digital inductions and digital interactive writing, a pop-up ‘Glass Room’ workshop, an interactive treasure hunt, live podcasting, and an invitation-only workshop specially designed to give new info pros the chance to join in with the ILI experience.

So, while much has changed since the first ILI conference, it’s been incredibly exciting to see so many inspiring and transformative projects showcased at the conference over the years, and we look forward to ILI delegates sharing many more innovations this year, and into the future.

To register for ILI, click here. 40% multi delegate discounts apply.

More News