I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I love conferencing. They are tiring and yet I almost always come back refreshed and excited to try new things. This time I managed to fit in two conferences nearly back to back.
I went to Computers in Libraries first, ever a favorite conference of mine. I presented a cybertour on qr codes, something I hope to do more with in my library in the next little while. The session helped me prepare for a small qr code hunt we created to celebrate my library’s 60th birthday. I find interesting content at CiL but this is a conference in which I really look forward to the informal networking. Having the conference in a central hotel means that it’s easy to run into people and find out what new projects they’re working on. Add in the extra bonus of fire pits, and you can’t go wrong.
ACRL quickly followed CiL. This was my first ACRL conference and I look forward to attending again. I presented with two colleagues, Andrew and Karen, and it seemed to go really well (though found it odd that we had to introduce ourselves). It was great to have an audience from academic libraries. Unlike CiL, I didn’t know too many of the attendees and found the lobby con aspect lacking, though that doesn’t mean there weren’t great networking opportunities. I found the poster sessions particularly good and talked to a number of great people. Others have summed up the conference better than I could, so i’ll leave it to them. I did come away with a number if things though. I’ve learned from past experience that attending sessions that are close to what I do are often less fulfilling, so for the first time I made a concerted effort to attend sessions I wanted to know more about, particularly data issues. This approach certainly made the conference more interesting. I am particularly pleased to see such a great virtual aspect to the conference. Registration provides virtual access to conference material for a year. I now have a dozen papers to read for sessions I couldn’t get to and am looking forward to going over the panel sessions I missed.
The hardest part of conferencing: getting back into the day-to-day again!