By Meredith Farkas | April 7, 2008
This week, I’m at Computers in Libraries, one of my very favorite conferences. This year’s schedule seems to be even better than usual an I found myself torn between two (and sometimes three or four) talks during most time slots. Kudos to Jane Dysart and the organizing committee! I was also thrilled to see that Information Today has listened to the complaints about wireless access and has 9 or 10 wireless base stations throughout the conference areas (my computer found three in the room where the keynote is being held).
Yesterday, I had the pleasure of giving my preconference, Wikis: Basics, Tools and Strategies. I always get an interesting group at the wiki preconference; everything from school and public librarians to corporate and government librarians. It makes it difficult to give a talk that meets the needs of everyone, but it’s fun to discuss wikis with such a diverse group of people. I also spoke as part of the Academic Library 2.0 Preconference. I had the pleasure of listening to Jenica Rogers-Urbanek speak for the first time, and she definitely did not disappoint. She gave a really insightful talk about getting staff buy-in on library 2.0 projects, which I plan to steal liberally from at some point in the future.
But the best part of Computers in Libraries is always the discussions you have with other librarians between the sessions; be they at a cafe or during karaoke. This year, I feel like more people than ever from the blogosphere are here and I’m excited to meet a lot of bloggers I feel I know from their writing but have never actually met. I feel very fortunate to have so many wonderful friends in this profession to bounce ideas off-of, debate issues with and have fun with at conferences like this. I learn so much every time I go to CIL, but I’d say only 50% of it is from the sessions.
I’ve got one more presentation to give; the Pecha Kucha—Conversation Face-Off! Pecha Kucha is a format in which you have 6 minutes and 40 seconds to make your case, using 20 slides for 20 seconds each. It’s definitely a challenge for the most experienced speaker, so I’ll be curious to see how we all do. I’ll be making the case for wikis in libraries, so at least it’s a topic I’m very comfortable with.
All of my presentation slides are available on Slideshare. It’s nice to see that so many people are putting their slides online, even though Slideshare can be painfully slow to deal with. There is so much wonderful sharing going on in our profession, and I’m very happy to be part of a profession that is really into freeing information and opening up dialogue.
I won’t be live-blogging the conference sessions; I find that it makes me focus more on the facts and less on the message and what it means for librarians. I’ll definitely write up my conference reflections though (the first session I went to on “going local” was fantastic, so I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say). If you’re at CIL, make the most of it and have fun! If you’re not, it’s getting easier and easier to feel like you’re there through the social media.