Did I have a good time at this year’s Internet Librarian conference? Boy, did I!
For one thing, I got to spend more quality time with some of my coworkers, who were at IL for the first time. We hit the aquarium, which was mindblowing. I think my jaw was in a state of perpetual droppedness as I took in the jellies, kelp forests, touch pools, and more. We ate some great food together (including a wild drive to Salinas to eat at In-N-Out Burger, which was even tastier than I dreamed it would be). And best of all, we had spirited conversations about what we love and hate about our profession and where we’re going as librarians.
Another great part was getting to see online friends again: Sarah Houghton-Jan, Meredith Farkas, Steven Cohen, Michelle BoulÃ©, Jenny Levine, Michael Stephens, Michael Porter, Michael Sauers, Beth Hoffman, Rachel Singer Gordon, David Lee King, Tom Ipri, and Dave Free. As an added bonus, I got to hang out with one of my good friends from library school, Mandy Tuthill, who is one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. I also got to meet more online friends in person for the first time: Karen G. Schneider, Laura Carscaddon, Jenica Urbanek-Rogers, Cindi Trainor, Holly Blosser, Steven Kaye, Jason Griffey, Chrystie Hill, Ruth Kneale, Robin Hastings, and more people I’m probably leaving out (for which I apologize). Seriously, the social networking is one of the best aspects of conferences. I mean, that’s why we blog, IM, use Twitter and Flickr and Facebook and all that other jazz, right?
I attended some very good sessions, too. One of my favorites was Jenny Benevento’s snarky “How to Lose a Tech Librarian” and the companion presentation by Sarah Houghton-Jan and Michael Stephens onstaff technology training. I also liked Michelle BoulÃ© and Karen Coombs’ presentation on free e-learning tools, not just because it was educational, but because Michelle and Karen present well together, like a classic stage duo. Paul Pival and Chad Boeninger are another great presenter pair who gave a great presentation on “Tech Tools for Library Outreach.” They threw out the Powerpoint, talked casually, and provided a Meebo room for backchat. Joe Janes’ Tuesday morning keynote speech was hilarious, thought-provoking, and inspiring. And the Tuesday night presentation by the Dutch “library boys” of the Shanachie Tour was so brilliant and joyful, I almost cried.
I left Monterey early (I mean, really bloody early) Thursday morning feeling energized, enthusiastic, and inspired to dig into more great library work with my brilliant fellow librarians. For all of that, Internet Librarian was a success.