Tri-Conference ’07

The second two days of Tri-Conference were even better than the first.

I saw Royce Kitts give a really good presentation (which I later found out was, due to a lack of time, an abbreviated version of what he was intending to do) where he pulled a non-blogger out of the audience and walked her through creating her own Blogger blog in about 5 minutes. He also provided one of my favorite moments at the conference: when an older librarian asked, “How can I keep my students from surfing and reading other blogs?”, Royce answered with a straight face, “Turn off the internet.”

The funny thing is, Royce had friended me on the Library 2.0 site last week, but I hadn’t realized he was a local until he was introduced for the presentation. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to actually speak to him face-to-face, as I had to rush over to do my own presentation.

Our Flickr presentation went well…I think. I was a combination of excited, nervous, and heavily caffeinated, so the presentation is something of a blur in my memory. I do remember Mickey doing a great job of showing off how some libraries have used Flickr in imaginative ways.
My Web Content teammate Stuart also presented that day, but I missed his presentation. Later, he told me that the attendance was small enough that it ended up being more of a conversation than a presentation. I’m slightly jealous, because that’s really what I wanted the Flickr presentation to be. It turns out I don’t really like presenting as such. There’s a reason why I became a librarian instead of a teacher. Actually, there are several reasons, but one of them is that I don’t really enjoy being on my own in front of a room of people and babbling at them. I’d rather be a participant in a discussion, or one half of a performing duo at the very least, than be a solo lecturer.

Which is why I really enjoyed the last session of the conference. It was billed as a presentation on technology training, but the presenters (including one of my Johnson County Library cohorts) had everyone rearrange the chairs in a circle and engage in a conversations as equals. It was refreshing, comfortable, and productive.

I got some good ideas for the redesign of MPOW’s children’s website, which I’m overseeing, from some of the sessions. I also got to see some old friends, get better acquainted with some coworkers, and meet new people. I’ll admit, I was pretty skeptical before the conference, expecting it to be too big and too much of a waste of time, but I had a good time and I got a lot out of it. For me, Tri-Conference was a success.

Greetings from Topeka!

I’m attending all three days of Tri-Conference (yesterday, today, tomorrow) in sunny (well, not so much) Topeka, KS. The motel I’m staying at advertises free wifi. It wasn’t working in my room, so I went to the front desk and was told that the wifi probably won’t reach my room. “You’ll need a cable,” the chap at the desk told me. (“Swell,” I thought.) “We have a cable you can use if you didn’t bring your own,” he continued, bringing a cable out from a cabinet. “Just bring it back when you check out,” he said. (“How nice!” I thought, a smile on my face.) I went back to my room, plugged the cable in…and still not intertubes. I could’ve gone back and complained again, but I really don’t want to be That Guy. You know, The Guy Who Cannot Live Without Internet Access For Three Measly Days And Complains To Everyone About It. Since I’m staffing the “cyber cafe” that NEKLS set up in the exhibition space, I’m taking advantage of the free computer time to check my email and update this here blog. (I could bring my own laptop in and pay eight bucks for the free wifi for the day, but…enh.)

The first day of Tri-Conference was good, and I think the next two days will be even better. Though I’m not sure what can top hearing local Youth Services hero Jean Hatfield talking about her year on the Newbery selection committee and saying, “Scrotum! Scrotum! Scrotum! If you don’t want to hear the word ‘scrotum,’ you’d better leave the room now.” Good times.