Whew! Midwinter was busy, productive, and good this go around!
As you know I typically blog each event and pull the posts together into daily posts here. This time I quickly realized that I wouldn’t even have the time for that type of reporting, so I did daily posts over on my blog, and I’m pulling them together here into one conference post. If you want more details, here are the daily posts: Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. If you want more details than that, let me know! I have lots of notes, but just didn’t have the time to process them into blog posts. Here’s the summary of what I’ve been up to (in alphabetical order and bulleted for easier reading):
Continuing Library Education Network and Exchange Round Table
Discussion Group on Staff Development
- CLENE is a group that focuses on staff development
- Some issues can be resolved with training and others can be resolved with strong supervision
- Discussed merits of online training
- Talked about the relationship of management and training
- Discussed our perception of ourselves vs. our patron’s perceptions, and a lot of vocabulary issues.
Reception (hosted by Pat Wagner)
- I just learned of and met Pat at this conference, but I am really impressed with her! She ran an exercise for the Emerging Leaders Town Hall, hosted this reception, and was an active participant of the CLENE discussion group.
- This reception was an excellent introduction to CLENE, and I met one of my local Twitter friends face-to-face, Lori Reed!
- I also ran into Peter Bromberg, so we followed up on some of the activities from earlier in the day, and I got some good advice on some of the areas I want to work on developing.
ACRL Women’s Studies Section
- I’m a member of the Instruction Committee and we’re doing interesting work!
- Rewriting the Information Literacy standards for Women’s Studies
- The committee hopes to present on this topic at the National Women’s Studies Association conference
Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship
- Every once in a while there is a question of the value of COSWL. We’ve done a good job over the last three years of keeping active and involved so those questions wouldn’t be asked. However, at this meeting there were only three members present (we were outnumbered by observers).
- Discussed the nature of committees formed by presidential appointment
- Considered possible partnerships
- We agreed that all the virtual work the committee had been doing was a good thing, and we would continue doing so (including using the listserv to find a time that would fit more people’s schedules)
- The second meeting is tomorrow, so I’m not posting the details here yet. I imagine it will be a continuation of the discussion we had earlier at the conference.
Emerging Leaders Town Hall
- I figured I’d see what this meeting was like since I’m just one year out, and I was really impressed.
- Leslie Burger, Maureen Sullivan, and Connie Paul ran the meeting as usual.
- A number of useful (and not too stressful!) networking exercises
- Feedback from participants on what ALA should look like in the future
Top Tech Trends
- Susan and I attended this together, but came from another session, so we got in about an hour into it
- Standing room only, but it was interesting enough to merit standing for the hour we were there
- While we were there, the discussed trends included: changing in publishing paradigm (for books and newspapers), the broadband divide, and changing displays. When asked how many in the audience have more than one monitor at their workspace, I was surprised that it seemed over half raised their hand. I wonder if it is the norm, or if a techy crowd would be more likely than a non-techy crowd.
- If you’re interested, you can watch it here!
- (Because what they did is so great, I’m cutting and pasting this bit straight from my blog): But the most important part of this year’s Top Tech Trends was the use of technology. It was amazing. Official tags allowed audience members (both in the room and across the country) to follow what was going on in various channels. Ustream surpassed 20 people. The FriendFeed room pulled everything together. This was exactly how it should be. LITA demonstrating how these tools can be applied to allow ALA to positively impact more people in the profession. It’s good for us as professionals looking to learn more, it’s good marketing (I knew we could still go to Top Tech Trends because of the Twitter messages I was getting in my breakfast session), and it’s good practice as information professionals. Kudos to Jason Griffey, BIGWIG, and TTT for showing how it can be done.
The LITA Town Hall Breakfast
- LITA Town Halls are planned by LITA’s Vice President and tend to focus on issues around what LITA is or should be and how to position the organization for the future.
- This one was lead by a consultant that had small groups consider different aspects of LITA (competing organizations, what areas of IT LITA should address, how we can collaborate better, etc) and then share out to the group.
- I got there a bit early and missed the formation of the Twittering/Google Docing/Live Blogging table, but felt like I was sitting there because of their awesome technology use. Though I was sitting with my group, I could follow along with a larger discussion (including with people across the country) in a number of ways. This is what was on my laptop:
The panel on the left is a live blog, and the columns on the right were for friendfeed and twitter. This is an example of an awesome use of technology, and a great way to get more voices heard. I’m not sure what will come of the brainstorming in the meeting, but at a minimum, this demonstration of how these tools can be used effectively was worth it.
LITA Distance Learning Interest Group
LITA Committee and Interest Group Chairs Joint Meeting
- This meeting is for the chairs of all the LITA committees and interest groups.
- This meeting gets all the LITA leadership into one room: board, chairs, staff, etc
- Discussed transparency in scheduling and decided to use the LITA wiki for this purpose
- LITA Forum will have amazing keynoters (David Weinberger, Liz Lawley, and Joan Lippincott) and is still accepting program proposals. (Man, I’ve got to get on that! Thanks for being part of this, Susan!!)
- Walt Crawford started an interesting discussion on the similarities of “publications” and “communication” committees, and where are the lines of publishing for a group with print publications, electronic ones, a website, a blog, a wiki, a listserv, etc.
Distance Learning Interest Group Discussion
- (I’ll be posting real notes for this session on my blog, on the LITA blog, and on the DLIG blog.)
- I chair this group, so this was my top priority of the conference.
- I was a bit worried about the DLIG this conference. We don’thave a set membership and different people show up at the discussions at each conference, so it’s hard to know ahead of time how it will be. I thought with it being cold, in Denver, and with the budget issues so many people are facing we wouldn’t have hardly anyone. Instead we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 20.
- We talked about text messaging, screencasting, and a little on embedded librarians and content management systems.
- We’re establishing a discussion list and will hopefully be doing some exciting things in the near future.
LITA Web Coordinating Committee
- This was my first meeting with the LITA Web Coordinating Committee.
- I am starting this term as part of mycommitmentto LITA for their sponsorship of me in the Emerging Leaders program.
- It takes a while to figure out the social dynamics of a committee, the charge, and what the committee is actually able to do. I’m still feeling it out.
- It does look like there might be some changes to the site in the next year or so, though, so I’ll probably be around for that.
Alexander Street Press Breakfast
- Susan and I attended the Alexander Street Press breakfast. It’s always a great event.
- First, I really think Alexander Street Press understands where information is moving, and they’re leading edge thinkers about how to provide content for users now and in the future.
- Perhaps even more exciting, they are figuring out ways to allow users to search through video content quickly and locate specific spots in the video the user needs. It’s amazing stuff.
- Second, they always have a great speaker (and provide a great looking breakfast). So, for leading edge issues: they now have a database of graphic novel/comic materials.
- As for their speaker, this year, because of the new database, they invited Art Spiegelman. He was an engaging speaker and gave me a lot to think about (in terms of conveying information in text and space, using images to cause people to think critically about culture, displacing norms)…. it was a great talk. He also helped me justify my recent interest in graphic novels
SPARC-ACRL Forum on Open Educational Resources
- Panelist: Richard Baraniuk, an architect of the Cape Town Open Education Declaration and founder of Connexions
- Panelist: David Wiley, also a leader of the Cape Town Declaration and Chief Openness Officer (cool, no?) for Flat World Knowledge
- Panelist: Nicole Allen, leader of the Student PIRGs Make Textbooks Affordable campaign
- Panelist: Mark Nelson,Digital Content Strategist for the National Association of College Stores, the trade association representing the higher education retail industry
- This panel gave a great presentation and discussed interesting topics. Some practical issues were addressed (like getting started on your own campus) as well as more theoretical ones (do textbooks even make sense in a constructivist environment?)
- The most striking point, to me, was if the government requires open access topubliclyfunded research, why don’t we require open access topubliclyfunded educational materials?
Other ALA Notes
- Sarah and I roomed (which was really nice!) at the Curtis Hotel (which was the funnest hotel I’ve ever stayed at!) Our room was on the 13th floor, which was horror themed. When the elevator stopped it said, “heeeere’s Johnny!” and there was a picture from The Shining right outside the door. It was great rooming with Sarah, we were able to eat a few meals together which was really nice.
- I saw a bunch of ZSR folks! Sarah and I, obviously saw each other quite a bit. One evening we got dinner with Steve. I ran into Wanda in the convention center (though I was so in-my-own-head that I almost missed her!) Susan and I spent Sunday morning together and saw each other at the LITA happy hour. Steve, Sarah, and I ran into Debbie Nolan. She seemed to be doing well. I never saw Lauren, but I know Susan and Sarah did. It’s amazing how at such a large conference you can see so many people you know.
- It was COLD. I mean WAY colder than the weather channel said it would be when I left Winston-Salem. I mean the type of weather where I don’t even own appropriate shoes.
- That being said, this was a fabulously walkable conference. Our hotel was three blocks from the convention center, and there was a great free bus that ran through downtown.
- Everyone was talking about Tough Economic Times. Attendance was way down. Every meeting I was in talked about the economy in terms of how it’s impacting the organization, libraries, and/or communities.
- Blogs seemed to play less of a role at this conference, and Twitter/Liveblogging/streaming video played way more. It dawned on me at one point that I used to keep my RSS reader open throughout the conference to see what was going on. I barely cracked it on this trip, insteadincessantlyupdating and watching Twitter. I actually think this might be a move towards the positive. There were several meetings where people all over the country participated because of the real-time nature of Twitter.
- I am gearing up to focus my energy on LITA. At this point I think LITA has the best chance at impacting ALA and making it a better organization. I also know that I need to focus my committee energy a bit more to be more effective. My WSS and COSWL terms are coming to an end at Annual, and I’m not going to seek out any replacements in areas non-LITA sections of ALA. WSS was incredibly welcoming to me as a new professional. COSWL gave me incredible insights into how ALA works and what we need to do to be effective, but spreading my time across ACRL, LITA, and the council committee meant that I couldn’t make a real impact in any one. It’s time to see what changes I can really make happen. :)