Sunday, March 18, 2012

Heading to the Computers in Libraries Conference this week (a pre-conference post)

In a couple of days, I will head to the Computers in Libraries (CIL) conference in Washington, DC. The theme this year is "Creating Innovative Libraries."  This year, I am moderating Track E on Thursday, 21st Century Library Systems & Operations.

What do I hope to get out of CIL?
  • I must admit that I see a group of colleagues at CIL that I don't see anyplace else.  So I'm looking forward to hearing what new things they are doing and what is changing in their libraries.  How is the economy affecting their libraries now?  What new services are they launching? What skills do their staff now need to have?
  • All of the keynotes are being given this year by people whom I've not heard speak before.  They are from interesting institutions (e.g., IMLS and the Smithsonian) and I'm looking forward to hearing their perspectives.  
  • I want to come back to Syracuse with ideas that will influence my teaching.  I know those ideas will come from sessions and conversations.  
  • I want to come back with information about how we - information professionals and librarians - are changing how we are perceived, what we do, etc.  How are we - not just our libraries - being innovative?
As always, unique things happen at CIL, some of which are planned and some are not!  Planned:
  • Gaming & Gadgets Petting Zoo - This is an informal event Tuesday evening with people often bringing new technology to show off. 
  • NCompass Live: Tech Talk with Michael Sauers: Live from Computers in Libraries! The Next (Big) Thing - Online - Yup, Michael Sauers will be broadcasting a session live via Go To Webinar on Wednesday, Mar. 21, from 3:15 - 4:00 p.m. ET (2:15-3:00 p.m. CT).  People can sign-up to hear it live OR you can listened to a recording of the session afterwards.
  • T is for Training will be recording a session on Thursday evening, 5:30 - 7:15 p.m somewhere in the Washington Hilton.  If you want to be part of this, find Maurice Coleman or another member of the T is for Training crew (like me).  Maurice will put the recording on the T is for Training web site.  This show - loosely about training done in libraries - is recorded bimonthly using TalkShoe and we all really enjoy times when we can record the show while actually all being in the same room!
  • Battle Decks: Dead & Innovative Tech - There is always a session Thursday evening, after people have gotten some dinner.  There are some new faces on the Thursday evening line up and, with a Battle Decks format, this could be very lively and informative!
BTW often some other sessions are broadcasted, so check Twitter for info.

Informally...people should take advantage of the Twitter hashtag (#cildc) for staying in the loop - no matter if you're on site or not.  The hashtag will also help you figure out where the informal gatherings are taking place.  The informal "conferences" are generally called TableCon, LobbyCon. FireCon, etc.  (Or...the conference sround the table, the conference in the lobby, the conference by the firepit!)  A couple local colleagues often come in the evening just for the FireCon/BarCon.  If you can't be there, hit the Twitter stream and participate that way!

I have students that will be following CIL from afar and so I plan on creating short podcasts during the conference for them (and you).  If you're on site, you might get stopped by me to comment on what you are learning.  If you of off-site, follow me on Twitter  (@jill_hw) so you'll have quick access to the podcasts as they become available.

If you are going to be at CIL, please stop me and say "hi"!  If you're an SU iSchool graduate or friend, I'll have an iSchool wristband for you. The iSchool will have a booth in the Exhibit Hall, so be sure to stop there and say "hi" too.


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