Like any great college town, Ann Arbor is buzzing with Fall festivities, a sense of accomplishment that midterms are over, and plenty of football. We know a thing or two about winning at the University of Michigan, but the last few years have been tough. Now the tide is turning, and we are proud to sit next to two top programs, one of which is Clemson University – one of South Carolina’s most distinctive schools.

The last time we were second in the nation was a decade ago, when I was fresh out of library school, living in Ann Arbor, and embarking on a new career digitizing historical books and research content.

The excitement of that time is exactly how I feel about attending the Charleston Conference for the first time. The Charleston Conference has always captivated my imagination – the sense of professionalism, innovation, thought leadership, and the spirit of collaboration between libraries and vendors goes unmatched. Plus, I hear the cuisine and hospitality in Charleston are marvelous too!

I’m particularly excited about coming to the Charleston Conference because I’m visiting in a new role. Before joining RedLink in late September, I had always worked on the supply side of the industry in mostly product and client advisory roles for publishers and analytic companies. I’ve never held a sales position, so now, I will be experiencing Charleston from another perspective—as a vendor and solutions broker.

My professional experience comes in handy in this new role. RedLink’s foundational product for libraries, Library Dashboard, helps libraries make data-driven decisions based on usage and turnaway data in a practical, visual style, eliminating the work of manually collecting and normalizing usage data. The product’s charts, comparisons, and disciplinary drill-downs help librarians assess the utilization and value of their digital licenses for ebooks, journals, and databases. As a librarian, I truly appreciate the power of using data to inform collection strategy and shape licensing negotiations. In fact, most librarians aspire to move beyond merely gathering usage data to flexibly forecasting usage and cost, and deepening their knowledge of key user groups. RedLink is moving in this direction rapidly, as well.

I’m certainly looking forward to this year’s Charleston Conference. The spirit and excitement of the occasion livens me up to the road ahead. I look forward to making new friends and hearing about new products and ideas, but also to presenting a new solution that adds real value for libraries. I’m very pleased to be in a new position that enables me to help my colleagues address their challenges and identify new opportunities. On behalf of everyone at RedLink, we hope to see you there!

— Lanell White, Director of Library Relations