Thursday, March 19, 2009

ACRL 2009 Breakdown

I returned from the ACRL National conference in Seattle late Sunday night. I missed a little bit of the conference on Sunday, but I needed to get home and get back to work. Never mind that I came home to two sick kids and a very worn-out wife.

First of all, Seattle is a great city. Clean streets, friendly people, great food...all in all a great place to have a conference. Normally, I tire of the big city after three days or so -- but not with Seattle. Maybe it was because I haven't been out of South Carolina for any lengthy amount of time, but it was definitely somewhere I could live, work, and raise a family. It reminded me a little bit like Asheville, NC but on steroids: progressive thinking, artsy/folksy, and lots of Subarus!

The conference was very informative, to say the least. My brain runneth over with all of the ideas and innovations I would like to try here at Coker.

I was fortunate to win a scholarship to attend the conference. Looking at my professional development budget, I wouldn't have been able to attend without it. Should any of the ACRL people stumble across this blog post, thank you for awarding me the scholarship!

It goes without saying that I had a lot of preconceptions about the conference before I even set down in Seattle. Even though I had read through the conference schedule, I thought that a lot of the discussions might be above my head as a relatively new librarian. Definitely not the case. Also, librarians are all in the same boat regardless of size of school or budget. Our biggest challenges are financial shortcomings, competing with the open Internet, and dealing with faculty and administration (to name a very few).

LibGuides was the hot topic during the conference, with at least six separate discussions spread out through the four days. It felt good that Coker was (slightly) ahead of the curve with our subscription to this great resource. I hope to finish more of the guides when classes wind down later on this spring.
I felt reassured that I could add to the conversation next time around. Although it is difficult to earn a slot as a presenter at the ACRL national conference, I feel that I have the chops to produce something significant enough to share with my colleagues, perhaps as early as 2011 in Philadelphia.

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