I give you IL2006 - the learning stuff.
Below is a rundown of sessions I attended, presentations I saw, and bloggers who spoke. I'm deeply indebted to the intrepid bloggers who blogged each session (as well as the InfoToday blog) so that Notetaking 1.0 folks like me would have something digital to refer to after the conference! Wanna just see my Flickr photos? Click right here for the set.
Author J.A. Jance (herself a blogger) was our opening keynote, and she gave an impassioned talk about her abusive husband, her escape to a new life, her book ideas, and even sang a couple of songs a capella. While I found her talk interesting from a book-person point of view, I was puzzled that it wasn't more closely linked to technology. Still, it was interesting and funny, and I plan to check out a Jance novel or two in the coming weeks.
I was psyched the public libraries track had a) returned for a second year and b) was going to kick off IL2006 for me!
Public Library 2.0: Emerging Technologies and Changing Roles was the first session, and featured Jenny Levine, Michael Stephens and Helene Blowers discussing public libraries tech ideas, ways to move into the land of Library 2.0, and the progress that we have seen in the last year. Blowers discussed her Learning 2.0 initiative at PLCMC, and the success the program saw. In a nutshell, staff members were encouraged (and given nifty incentive prizes) for playing with 2.0 technology - set up a blog, subscribe to some RSS feeds, play with a wiki, look at YouTube and much more. I would lovelovelove to get my staff on board with a fun way to play like this. Really great way to start the conference!
Delighting PL Users: Personas in Action was the next session, and Stephen Abram is always a dynamic and interesting speaker. Abram spoke at length about the changing face of our patrons, and how best to serve them and their goals. There was a comparison of different types of patrons, as well as different generations in the library. Very interesting and fast-paced!
Reaching Patrons: Online Outreach for PLs was Sarah Houghton-Jan's session, and it was a fantastic list of 20 ways to make your library more visible electronically. I am a huge devotee of the Librarian in Black's blog, and thoroughly enjoyed her session, and jotted down lots of things to try, change or add to our web presence. Thanks for posting the presentation, Sarah!
Web-Based Experience Planning was presented by David King, whom Maire and I decided was a rock star (not that he wasn't already). Wherever David was, a crowd would gather. That's a rock star. Anyhoo, David talked about the good things, and the not so good things, that web creators and designers do to their users - and the kind of experience the user has each time. Strategy, scope, structure, skeleton and surface of a website were discussed, and David cited several excellent sources (such as "Don't Make Me Think" by Steve Krug) to read to learn more about the "user experience".
OPAC Tips & Tricks for Improving User Experiences featured Glenn Peterson (of Hennepin Co. PL) and Nanette Donohue (of Champaign PL) discussing the ways they had edited, exploited and enabled their OPACs to give the user a better experience. Glenn discussed portal products, integrating your OPAC into your website, and a single login for the entire library website. Nanette discussed their OPAC redesign (the result of a grant) and what worked, and what didn't, during their process.
Gadgets, Gadgets, Gadgets was a great way to end the day! This was a lighthearted presentation (complete with trivia gifts!) given by Aaron Schmidt, Barbara Fullerton and Sabrina Pacifici, in which they each had one minute (seriously - they timed it) to discuss some new or snifty gadget or technology. Some of the items were serious, many were funny, and all of them were interesting to learn about. A great session to a packed house!
And thus ended day one!
Days two and three were going to be dominated (for me, anyway) by the Social Computing track, and I was psyched! This is all the fun stuff: Flickr, Blogger, Wiki, MySpace and more! Day two kicked off with Clifford Lynch as the keynote speaker, who discussed cyberinfrastructure and data management, and then it was off to...
Podcasting and Videocasting, a fantastic double session with a really knowledgeable panel of speakers (including RockStar David King and Jeff from INCOLSA. Hoosier State, represent!). I learned a lot of tips for starting a podcast for the library, but I was superintrigued by David's discussion of videocasting - I wanna do that! In the coming months, I may have to try a podcast/vidcast of my own before tackling it for the library.
Flickr and Libraries was just a big lovefest. :-) Michael Porter (LibraryMan himself!) talked about libraries and librarians who are utilizing Flickr, how Flickr works (tags, sharing, etc), geomapping with Flickr, and even had two “guest speakers” who discussed how Flickr has impacted their own library projects. Many of us in the room are already Flickr devotees, but by the end of Michael’s talk, I’m sure everyone was a convert. :-) Michael Sauers (travelinlibrarian) talked about some of the cool functions and toys available through Flickr (like Fd’s Flickr Toys).
Aaron Schmidt and Cliff Landis, two great speakers, gave a session on MySpace and Facebook (MySpace being primarily used by PLs, Facebook by university students). Aaron showed a couple of example library MySpace pages (Hennepin and
The keynote speaker for the final day of the conference was Shari Thurow, who spoke at length about strategies for improving the visibility of your website. She gave lots of examples and tips, including HTML title tag ideas, an intro paragraph for a site map, and some primary text to include. It was very informative!
(Sidebar…I made the mistake of sitting in the front row of the auditorium – it was me with pen and paper and about 742 laptops. I felt so ashamed. But hey, at least I’m keeping Notetaking 1.0 alive!)
The wiki panel of speakers were very diverse, and had a lot of different uses for wikis in their own institutions. I was particularly interested in the nuts and bolts of Maire Kruppa's discussion of SJCPL's Subject Guides, something that I (and, apparently, Joshua Neff) plan to shamelessly rip off one of these days. In other news, I was very proud of Maire for presenting at IL2006 for the first time - as one of my former employees, I was totally proud mama in the audience. *sniff*