Monday, August 15, 2011

Presenting at the Internet Librarian 2011

About 2-3 months ago, an invitation was sent out to early adopters of the new library system we have recently implemented to present with Andrew Pace, OCLC's Executive Director of Networked Library Services at this year's Internet Librarian conference. He wanted testimonials from the trenches about the impact of their new kind of product to go along with what would otherwise simply look like a sales pitch. I hadn't been able to attend this conference held annually in Monterey in quite a few years but had hoped to get there this year. It is truly a good way to keep up with where libraries should be headed in this exciting time of information evolution.

I briefly weighed the pros and cons and decided to put my name in the hat and it was picked.

The benefits of getting my name on the program include:
  • My conference registration fee was waived ($499)
  • I'm forced to find a way to go this year (no excuses)
  • I have something new to add to my curriculum vita
  • It fits within the goals of my faculty development plan for professional development
  • Networking with other information professionals
  • The University has evidence of professional involvement of its faculty for accreditation
  • Our University's name is on the program of a national conference
  • I am forced to think about it in a broader perspective

The negatives in the “Cons” column are (in no particular order):
  • Time required to develop a presentation
  • Time away from family and the library to attend a three day conference
  • Fear of making a fool of myself
  • Cost of travel, meals, and lodging
Last week the conference program came in the mail. I was interested to see when I was scheduled to give my presentation and what track it would be in.

“My” session (I am one of three people sharing a 45 minute slot) is scheduled for 2:45 on Wednesday afternoon -- the very last time slot before the final keynote address of the conference. (If you have ever attended a conference with multiple tracks and back-to-back sessions you know how exhausted everyone will be by then!)

Andrew Pace (whom everyone who attends will actually be drawn to hear) will talk about the wonders of Web-Scale Management Services from the corporate perspective. Then Larry Haight, Director of the Simpson University Library, and I will each give 10-15 minute testimonies.

Our session, Web Services: Libraries in the Cloud, is assigned to Track C – Creative & Leading-Edge Practices, which is basically a series of case studies in “exciting new strategies, practices techniques, and more” with “insights, ideas, and innovations” for attendees to “take home and replicate.” (IL 2011, Advance Program)

My husband was interested in knowing what my competition would be—what other sessions were being offered at the same time. (I was humbled enough to see how late in the conference our session was scheduled. I didn't even think about what other things would be drawing the dwindling crowd.) But since he mentioned it, I took a look.

While Larry and I are talking about our library’s current situations, why we chose WMS, how we think WMS will help our library (and libraries in general,) and our experience with it so far, other information professionals will be presenting the following sessions to the committed attendees:
Track A -- Ebook Evolution & Revolution
"Ebook Issues & Challenges"
Track B -- Future Focus
"Storytelling Tools on Multitouch Solutions"
Track D -- Planning
"Using Data for Library Success"
Track E -- Content Management
"Digital Content Frustration: Copyright, Licensing, & DRM"
If I weren't presenting, I would have a hard time choosing between them!

The final keynote, by the way, “Gamification: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” sounds intriguing. I'm not a gamer so I expect I may lack the necessary frame of reference to fully understand this “hot new term in business and tech circles.” I will be glad to have Lindsey, our new Systems and Technical Services Librarian, there with me to interpret!

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