Tuesday, October 18, 2005

ILA Conference

Just returned from the Illinois Library Association conference. Very good stuff there, including Stephen Abram's opening session speech on Google and a zillion other things.We asked him if a podcast of his talk would be on his blog, but unfortunately the best available is a copy of his powerpoint presentation. Needless to say he wandered a bit from the canned presentation and the meaty things were really in his speech. Ah well, let's take what we can get. For you Chicago area librarians, Stephen (and Jenny Levine) will be back with the Chicago Scholars in Residence program on November 9th.

That evening I also attended the ILSDO 40th anniversary bash. You've never seen so many librarians cut a rug, and even to Sir Mix Alot's "Baby Got Back." I think I sweated off my buffet pasta doin' the YMCA.

Also went to the tech trends talk by Jenny Levine, Paul Mills from the Prairie Area Library System, and Theresa Ross Embery from Library Associates. Blogging, podcasting and gaming were among the hot topics. To sum up, we need to reach out to our patrons and not expect them to come to us, and technology can be very effective in achieving this. Jenny provided an excellent example in the Ann Arbor Library District, where their director maintains a blog. Another great point was that blogs allow for patron interaction with the site - especially important for YA librarians to go forth and allow comments. I was completely geeked out, nodding along with everything these excellent and well-informed presenters were saying, when the guy behind me leaned over to his colleague and whispered, "Well, gee, all this stuff would be great if it wasn't totally irrelevant and impractical." *sigh*

It was a very worthwhile conference, although my one gripe is that no program seemed to start and end on time. They need an obnoxious bell to signal the end of class like we had in high school.

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