This year’s Customers of SirsiDynix Australasia (COSA) Conference was held in Adelaide on 17th - 19th October at the Stamford Plaza. Four different training sessions were offered on the Wednesday with 50 customers participating in a range of different sessions - new features in Enterprise/Portfolio 4.2/4.3 with Katy Willcock, Symphony system administration with Ken Warren, SQL for Horizon with Jeremy Newville and API refresher training with Ranny Lacanienta and Margaret Pelfrey. Many attendees commented on how it was beneficial to see how a SirsiDynix site - Christchurch City Libraries in New Zealand are making use of the API capabilities courtesy of Cath Parr presenting.
The afternoon also offered visits to both the North Terrace Library and the Grote Street Library in the Adelaide CBD. It was a great way to get out and enjoy the sun while talking shop at the same time. Both of these visits showed that even though we are all in the same industry no two libraries are the same.
At the end of the day, SirsiDynix hosted drinks in the Cascades Celebrity Cocktail Lounge, a bar within the Stamford Plaza Hotel, for the customers who had already arrived. These welcome drinks were a nice way for both our U.S. and N.Z. colleagues to meet many of our customers for the first time and for customers to start their own networking with others discussing current library trends and what sessions they were going to attend the following two days.
It was an early start the following morning for SirsiDynix staff, meeting early to put the final touches together for registration starting at 8:00 am. Stephen Harrison (Holmesglen Institute of TAFE), current COSA president, opened the conference, welcoming the conference delegates before handing over to Bill Davison SirsiDynix Chief Executive Officer, Talin Bingham SirsiDynix Chief Architect, Berit Nelson VP of Strategic Library Development , Rick Branham VP Global Accounts and Alliances and Ranny Lacanienta Director of Product Management, to provide a SirsiDynix welcome and an update on the company.
Sue McKerracher, Executive Director of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) provided the keynote speech. Sue shared with us ALIA’s current strategies in the current political environment and what is being implemented to ensure libraries are not left behind in future funding allocations. Sue’s speech resonated with a captive the audience with many heads nodding in agreement with her comments.
The conference room was then partitioned to enable the breakout sessions to begin. Client presentations included RFID at the Eastern Regional Library, Getting the best out of Symphony Reports from experience at Holmesglen Institute and handling System Administration in a consortium environment courtesy of Lloyd Brady from SWIFT. SirsiDynix sessions covered The Blue Cloud, E-Resource Central (eRC), Library Intelligence: Future Roadmap and Technology, Social Library, Bookmyne, Customer enhancement forums, future directions of Symphony and Horizon and Library SMS. We were especially pleased this year to have customers willing to share their experiences with their peers and we also received great feedback on the variety of SirsiDynix presentations.
In the exhibition hall, conference sponsors, including FE Technologies, CollectionHQ, UNIQUE Management Services, Bibliotheca, THORPE-Bowker and ALS, were joined by SirsiDynix APAC customer support supervisor Joel Broadbent and application support specialist Ken Warren who, with John Goddard, Janette Chin and Jeremy Newville spent time at the Ask SirsiDynix desk. The Ask SirsiDynix desk is a great way for customers to have questions answered, products demonstrated and issues resolved one on one. Many customers commented on how nice it is to meet the customer support staff who help them over the phone.
The conference dinner was a 3 course sit down meal held in the Boulevard Ballroom at the Stamford. Customers and staff were entertained by MC Colin Sutherland (Chisholm Institute of TAFE) as well as a local DJ. The festivities continued late into the night with some SirsiDynix staff proving too well versed with the dance moves of current popular song “Gangnam Style” (conference photos coming to the SirsiDynix Facebook page).
Stephen Harrison hosted the COSA annual general meeting the following morning and members agreed that the board will remain unchanged and that the COSA conference in 2013 should be held in Melbourne.
Geoff Stremple from the SAPLIN consortium then provided a great overview on the current implementation of SirsiDynix products into the SA Public Library network. The sheer scale of the project – 3+ years and 134 libraries shows there is a great effort being contributed by all involved. The conference ended with an informal Q & A Session hosted by SirsiDynix. Questions were varied and provided by a wide number of sites. Customers agreed specific highlights were eRC and Blue Cloud. (Conference presentations will soon be available at sirsidynix.com/cosa).
Overall, it was a very successful conference with customers commenting on how informative and enjoyable it was with a record number of attendees (over 100) and also the highest ever number of overseas based SirsiDynix staff attending. Congratulations to our major prize winners Kathy Haese (City of Onkaparinga – SAPLIN Consortium), who took home an Android Tablet, Julie Mills from TALIS who won a year’s subscription to eRC and Liz Sinclair of the Catholic Education Office Parramatta who won a Kindle e-book in our conference draw and thank you to everyone who participated, sponsored and contributed to such a successful conference!