As promised, here’s my post about my recent conference experience. Unlike last year, I was able to attend all three days of the event. And that made it wonderful, instead of the stress of using a one day pass in horrible traffic and being unable to stay for any of the evening social events. Therefore this post will be divided into four sections, two of which will appear this week. The next two will follow next Monday.
My disaster planning in libraries presentation went very well. I spoke to a crowd of twenty-five; a good number considering I was competing against two themed lunches. Four people I knew attended and provided great feedback. And some of the people I met earlier in the conference also attended. Both groups contributed greatly to the Q & A. In fact, the Q & A went over the allotted time! Thankfully a lunch break was scheduled next so we did not have to vacate the room before a new presentation was scheduled to start. Those who attended asked several clarifying questions and some also added facts about their own library’s disaster plans. Of the one institution that had a plan besides MU Libraries, the plan sits in an office and hadn’t been seen or reviewed in years! At the end, I asked how many would now go back and look into creating or updating disaster plans and practicing them. Almost every hand went up. The four that did not were the people I knew. In one case, he was also a job seeker. In the other three and plan was already under revision due to a recent disaster.
It was suggested by those I know, and I will look into it more, than I should do two things. First, adapt the presentation into a paper and see about getting it published. I see this as a viable opportunity as long as the journal is not open source. While I support the open source movement, as an unaffiliated scholar I do not have the funding to pay to publish in one of those journals. I would have to look for a subscription-based journal (unless funding magically appears). Second, that I should consider consulting on disaster planning by offering libraries my services to write their plans. This I would have to look into more to see how the process works and investigate the legal aspects. But it is worth looking into.
During the conference I attended one table talk, the keynote address, the poster session hour, and seven breakout sessions. I also pursued the vendor fair to learn about updates to products. Sadly, once again I missed a session I wanted to attend due to lunch running late. Hopefully the slides will be up soon to view!
David Lee King provided the keynote. It focused on how libraries need to change to adapt to the times. He stressed the need to invest in online resources (especially e-periodicals and e-books), graphics heavy online material (it captures the eye and draws it in), responsive resources that adapt to all devices, and to consolidate desks in the library. This adaption to technology will not cost librarians their jobs, but rather transform it into that of curators and resource educators for both print and electronic material and creators of online material. And in fact, based on my experiences, many librarians already consider themselves curators.
In the presentation on roving reference, I heard what some of the current graduate assistants at Ellis did in a recent experience. It built on the work I partook in with the partnership with one of the dorms. Instead of going off-site, they roved the stacks with iPads and assisted patrons. They had more productive contact in one two-hour shift than all three grad assistants had in a month at the dorm! In another presentation my Ellis Library staff, I learned the latest updates in the recent off-site storage mold outbreak (which I also touched on in my presentation). It was a massive effort to move over 600,000 volumes in less than six months while also deciding what to save!
In two other presentations I saw the effects of the modern era on projects. In one case, I saw a presentation with several great ideas on utilizing the new draft ACRL Information Literacy Standards. In another I saw how intellectual property law (including copyright) can end a digitization project. While the a local institution holds a famous writer’s manuscripts and correspondence, because of the way the trust was broken after her death, the copyright did not go where she intended. The lawyer of the person who holds the rights refused to allow the deteriorating items to be scanned or copied for any reason. Sadly, this is one of my favorite childhood writers (and that of many children worldwide). While this angered me, the first part of the presentation showed attendees all the steps needed to start the digitization process. It took good notes during this!
I also attended several session that were not as good as expected and I probably would have been better off attending something else. Plus there was a great session on reader’s advisory that I plan to address alongside a post I planned on reader’s advisory tools. Look for that in the future. Lastly, I did attend my first business meeting. It was a very formal affair.
Other presentation materials can be viewed here. I’ll add relevant links as they become available to the above section.
Check back next week to read about the rest of the conference experience. If I had left everything in one post, it would have been nearly 2,000 words! Please let me know if you have any questions so far.