Thursday, I went to a bunch of MLA conference programs. I’m going to be blindingly honest, so brace yourself.
As an overall statement, I’ve decided that this year is the year to explain the so-called Web 2.0 concepts to librarians. The term (which I’m quickly losing excitement for) was explained wonderfully by Jessamyn on Wednesday during her Tiny Tech program, paraphrased thusly: “Web 2.0 is just you using a website to interact with other people instead of interacting with the website.” It’s not a huge concept that you have to understand, as it sounds, and as other presenters treated it. I think throwing 2.0 around is panicking those librarians who are not familiar with it, even if they are familiar with Flickr, Tweet, etc. Web 2.0 is a silly term, since it infers that something has drastically changed from Web 1.0 I’ll let Wadsbone bitch more about that.
So back to my point – the con discussed technology I’m already familiar with. I’m not bragging – it’s the only thing I really have a grasp on. I think instead of going to the conference, I should have spent the $125 on a bar tab, invited out some of the local librarians from surrounding towns, and gotten them drunk and made them tell me about being a librarian for more than 3 months.
The conference was not a waste of time – I did fawn over Nancy Pearl’s “Care and Feeding of Your Book Group”, as well as the “Privacy Rights for Minors” session, although I have to admit I left feeling mostly frustrated with the law. It’s not that I don’t looooove privacy rights. It’s just that I can’t get behind protecting a 2-year-old’s patron record from their mom. It’s just not functional.
Oh, and the whole reason why I went was a preconference on technology sustainability in small libraries. I felt meh about the presentation (and laughed out loud about the reception – they had giant libraries present their action plans – like that helps us tiny guys) buuuut, it did get me thinking about what I should be pushing for at my library. When I got back today, I told my director about some of the ideas, and she got really excited. I’m determined to see WiFi, new terminals with Ubuntu, and an updated web page (with online tutorials) by the end of the year.
(click to see large)