So I am not as enamored with Southern California as many people, but all in all the trip to Anaheim was worth it. We started out at a lovely dinner with our former colleague Elisabeth Leonard on Friday night. Elisabeth is now a market research analyst with Sage Publications and she had assembled a lovely group of librarians and Sage folks for a great dinner discussion.
A good portion of my time was spent in committee meetings for the Law and Political Science Section (LPSS) of ACRL. I am on the Instruction Committee and the Marta Lange/Sage-CQ Press Awards Committee. The Instruction Committee met to begin discussion our upcoming revision to the Political Science Research Compentency Guidelines. Our plans include updating them to include a more global perspective over the next year. We also began discussing some other issues affecting the committee that will stem from a revision to the LPSS Strategic Plan. The Marta Lange committee votes on an award recipient each year (nominated by LPSS members) who has made significant contributions to law or political science librarianship. I attended the luncheon for this years recipient. I will be chairing the committee next year so I paid close attention to all that happened. It was a lovely event with a great group of people. If anyone is interested in getting more involved in ACRL or ALA I’d suggest going with one of the subject specific groups. I have found LPSS easy to get involved with and really delightful group of people to get to know.
My presentation was well attended and well received. I was one of four presenters on a panel sponsored by The Library Instruction Round Table (LIRt) entitled: “Critical Thinking and Library Instruction: Fantasyland or Adventureland.” Two of the panelists were more theoretical, two of us gave more concrete examples of ways we have included critical thinking in actual classes with students. I discussed an exercise I first developed with Dr. Steve Giles in our Communication Department on ‘Junk Science.’ I have since revised and repurposed it for many different contexts. I have my very minimal presentation up here but am happy to discuss it more with anyone who is interested.
Lynn has already reported on our lovely afternoon at the home of Rob Holland and his wife discussing library issues with WFU Alumni. It was really lovely and I felt honored to be a part of it. Rob was a student in the late 1990s and early 2000s and he was an amazing resource for the ITC at that point on digital video. It was not surprise to me that he has done so well for himself but it was great to catch up with him.
I didn’t have much time to get to presentations, but the ACRL President’s Program was outstanding. The speaker was Duane Bray, Head of Global Digital Business and Partner at IDEO and his topic was the Future of the Book which referenced their very provocative video on the subject. The projects IDEO is involved in are fascinating but they essentially present companies the customer perspective and information about customer behavior so they can make their products and services more customer centered. He discussed projects that involved videotaping an emergency room visit from the perspective of the patient, and going to look at NASCAR pit crews to see how they worked together so they could take suggestions back to hospital surgery personnel. One of his points was that maybe your problem has been solved somewhere else – NASCAR pit crews had kits for the five things most likely to go wrong with a car – a suggestion that the surgeons immediately saw as useful – there are things most likely to go wrong in surgeries and having pre-prepared kits for dealing with them could save time and lives. He also discussed the intersection of place and narrative – stories that change if you are in a particular place. Our mobile devices can now detect location so if you are reading a mystery about Chicago and you are in Chicago, maybe new information will be revealed to you if you pass by a location from the story. There were so many more interesting ideas in the talk that I can’t cover them all (Hu will discuss some others) but come chat if you want to hear more!!
Not surprisingly I made several booth visits in the exhibit hall and found out about new databases from the UN and WorldBank, the new LibChat product from Springshare, got some questions answered by the Summon folks and drooled over some seriously cool library furniture.