Information Today, Inc. (ITI) (http://www.infotoday.com) has announced that it has acquired Libtech International, a library technology exhibition and conference located in the U.K. The next meeting of Libtech International is scheduled for March 29-31, 1999, at the Olympia in London, along with the London International Bookfair, run by Reed Exhibition Companies.
ITI plans to run an international version of its successful Internet Librarian Conference jointly with Libtech International. The Libtech name will still apply to the exhibit side of the joint conference, with the Internet Librarian International name reflecting speakers and presentations in the conference program. ITI has had significant success with Internet Librarian, its newest conference in the U.S., showing a 20 percent growth rate. The 1998 Internet Librarian conference held in Monterey, California, drew an audience of over 2,000 technical librarians and information professionals.
In the announcement of the acquisition, ITI took note of the increased focus on electronic publishing within the Bookfair. This, the company suggested, made for strong synergy between the Bookfair, the Libtech library technology exhibition, and the planned Internet Librarian International conference that will focus on topical library issues. Mike Allsopp of Reed Exhibitions indicated the cooperative role between the two conferences: "Our major aim in this new partnership with Information Today is to create a synergistic link between the London International Bookfair and Libtech. The addition of the Internet Librarian Conference to the program recapitulates this message and adds yet another dimension to the overall event. In order that we continue to provide such a pertinent service to the library and information communities, it is our intention to hold these events in parallel in future years and not just in 1999."
In the early 1980s, the University of Hertfordshire developed Libtech International from an internal training course into a major event. The move to co-scheduling Libtech International with the London International Bookfair—the largest event in European publishing, with over 23,000 visitors and exhibitors—marked the point at which the Libtech International event outgrew the space available on the university's Hatfield campus. With Libtech International currently drawing some 100 exhibitors and up to 2,000 visitors, the university decided to sell the conference to ITI.
Both the Internet Librarian Conference International and Libtech 99 will be co-managed in the U.K. by Information Today and Rubicon Communications, Ltd., an event-management company specializing in the library and information-management fields. Jane Dysart of Dysart and Jones and David Raitt, editor of The Electronic Library, will handle the programming for Internet Librarian International.
Information Today also sponsors the National Online Meeting (NOM), held each year in New York and celebrating its 20th anniversary in 1999, and Computers in Libraries, an annual event in Washington, DC.