Next May, ELVIRA reaches its 4th annual conference. When the conference series started, the concept of the electronic library was still a novelty to many of us; now every self-respecting university, college and library is involved in developments in our field. ELVIRA 4 promises to be the most exciting conference yet, and also the most varied. The organisers are keen to encourage different types of submission and session, to fit the diverse needs of researchers and practitioners in electronic resource provision.
So, what are you doing? What results or ideas do you want to communicate? How would they best be presented - in a traditional paper presentation? In a technical demonstration? In a workshop or panel discussion alongside fellow experts? In a tutorial to teach non-experts some of your expertise? Or in a poster display? This year's ELVIRA Call for Submissions gives you the flexibility to work out exactly what's appropriate for your type of work.
The electronic library field brings in academics from many disciplines, as well as librarians, computer scientists, information scientists, designers and commercial developers. You might be working on training and staff development, studying user needs and behaviour, grappling with copyright, building the ultimate user interface, or facilitating document transfer and conversion. You might be supplying documents to your readers free of charge, or you may be skilled in implementing charging mechanisms. You may have created an intelligent agent, studied organisational change, documented the relative merits of different formats, programmed a search engine or modelled users' cognition. You may have a burning concern that you wish to air, or a theoretical principle you wish to propose. Whatever, ELVIRA is your forum: the organisers are hoping for submissions that are original, informative, exciting and relevant.
As in previous years, the conference will be held in Milton Keynes. Britain's newest city, with its green parkland, excellent shops and leisure, easy transport connections and traffic-free roads, is attractive enough to visit at any time of year. This year, there are plans to add to the fun with a full social programme, and the chance to choose between varied parallel sessions during the 'work' parts of the day. The organisers are striving to find ways to make this THE conference for all elib people, while at the same time keeping to reasonable costs. More details of the venue, accommodation and social programme will be released nearer the time. For now, just mark it in your diary, get to work on that submission, and tell your friends