Thing 12 – Attending Conferences

I recently attended the National Acquisitions Conference in York. Thankfully, library management in my institution are very encouraging when it comes to continuing professional development and they came to me with the idea. As my contract is project-based there was funding already allocated and my colleague was also attending as she was leading a workshop on our Collections Review Project. The conference was very well organised and new delegates were identifiable by stickers on their name-tags. This meant that the conference organisers could make sure they got around and introduced themselves which I felt was a very nice touch. There was also a slightly earlier drinks reception for new delegates before the conference dinner which meant we could hang out with people in the same boat and get to know each other.

When attending conferences I do sometimes tend to stick to people I know. I find it hard to branch out when I don’t absolutely have to. Having said that, I think workshops at events are great because they force you into discussion. I always try to take notes as I like to write up conferences for the purposes of documenting my CPD. In fact I will be writing a report on the NAG conference for Libfocus (which reminds me that is another thing on my to-do list!!) At this conference they experimented with Glisser; unfortunately, there were a few issues especially regarding android tablets but I can see these being a very useful tool once the kinks are ironed out. The idea is to allow people access to the slides and be interactive while taking notes, tweeting etc.

One thing I would say about attending events like this is that it is always a good idea to go over your notes and the presentations again when they are available. There’s always far too much to take in on the day.

As for next time I guess I’ll try to chat to a few more people. I would love to find a new professionals group event to attend as I think I would feel a bit more comfortable in that environment. However, the important thing is that although they can be slightly nerve-wracking I will continue to attend events because once I get past the initial nerves it is great to meet new people and it is always great to learn new things.

Thing 10: Live Streaming

I usually try to attend the A&SL conference but this year I was tied to my desk in work awaiting emails for a deadline and couldn’t be outside the office. Thankfully my work couldn’t really start until the emails came in and therefore it was fine for me to attend virtually. Normally I would try to follow the Twitter feed but a live stream is even better as you almost feel like you are there. The only downside is that you can’t choose breakout sessions etc or take part in the networking that happens over tea or lunch but you can network using Twitter etc to still be a part of the conversation.

At the moment I can’t think of a situation where I would need to live stream something from the library. But that doesn’t mean the opportunity won’t present itself in the future. I think that is why a course like Rudai23 is important – it is allowing us to be aware of what is out there. And yes there is a lot! Just because something is available doesn’t mean that you have to use it, we don’t need to bombard our users with every piece of technology there is, no-one appreciates that. However, as librarians we should be aware of these things so that if something does come up we know where to look for the right tools for the job.