I’m back home after NEST. It was a good conference day, all told. Besides Pattie’s talk about seniors, we got Rachel Singer Gordon, who is quite droll and engaging, talking about different generations (Veterans, Baby Boomers, Gen X’ers, and Millennials) working together. And I sat on a panel with Rachel, Pattie, and Melissa Batson (who works with my buddy Gregg), talking about the problems and successes in working with younger and older librarians. Luckily, Kansas librarians are a feisty bunch, so the pressure was off of us on the panel, as many of the other librarians did most of the talking, while Rachel did her Phil Donahue and walked around the room with a microphone. And I still got to give my rant about why the MLS/no-MLS divide is frustrating and dopey.
Later in the day, we had small group discussion sessions. Some really good ideas were exchanged (and necessary venting was…vented). I think small discussion sessions, formal or informal, are an absolute must for any library conference. Without the conversations and community-building, conferences are too much like school…without the great social side that makes school so much fun.
Kudos to Mickey Coalwell and the other NEST planners who put together a nice conference, cozy but energetic.