It’s been a lovely experience here in Seattle. The city was kind enough to provide us with warm, sunny weather for the first two days. We’ll forgive them the typical drizzle today, since that is the traditional Seattle ambiance. (One librarian, originally from London, commented that it felt like home.) Spring is just around the corner in Seattle judging by the just-starting-to-bloom trees at the conference center.
A few random thoughts….
Librarians are friendly people. Every morning, I’ve invited myself to join a table at breakfast. The query has always been joyfully accepted and interesting conversations ensue.
There is never enough seating at convention centers. People end up plopping themselves on floors and staircases and ledges. I know they want to maximize the flow of people, but really…would a few chairs be that disruptive?
There were many fewer folks with laptops than at other conferences I’ve attended. At Internet Librarian, virtually the whole audience is typing away during presentations. Not so at ACRL.
You meet people in real life that you’ve only known online. Iris Jastram and I have chatted online for a few years now. She’s not that far from me in real life, but it took the conference in Seattle for us to actually meet. She’s as delightful in person as she is on her insightful blog….and has a great sense of humor, too!
Librarians need work on their presentation skills. Some are good presenters, but many….well, need work. And if I hear one more presentation? By a person that speaks? As if every statement is a question? Ahem. Here’s a tip, folks. If you’re not used to speaking in public (or have an acting background, like I do, so you’re a total ham) have someone videotape you speaking. You’ll learn a lot about the quirks you have – and we all have them – and then you can correct them. Some people have a verbal tic (uh) and others have physical tics (pacing, rocking.) You won’t be aware of them unless you either tape yourself or work with someone that can give you direction.
Conferences are really great for networking and meeting people. And getting together with people you might not normally get a chance to see. Grad school buddy Jen and I were able to spend time together, attending sessions and having dinner. Since she lives in Virginia, we don’t get to see each other very often, so it was terrific to see her.
It’s been a wonderful few days. Tonight I’m off to dinner with another friend named Jen: Jennifer Peterson of WebJunction fame. Should be a fun evening!
I must admit, I’ll be glad to get back home to DH and the furry “kids.” I miss ’em.