I’m at the Massachusetts Library Association conference. Woooo! It’s my first conference as a real-live librarian, which makes the exhibit hall more fun. That’s where vendors set up tables with their wares and e-wares ad ply us librarians with tchotchkeys and candy so we buy their products. As a student, I had to fake like I had buying power with Scholastic and sneak around to gank Nalgenes from Microsoft. Pff. Now I’m like, “gimme your URL. No I don’t want your catalog. Yes, I’ll take that free pen, and sure I’ll enter your raffle”. I’ve already learned the hard way what it is to take lots of freebies. Today I got away with just a few advanced copies, copies of books I might actually read.
I haven’t upped the pink highlights in my hair for a few months, so I spiffed up before coming to the con. Now that I’m hear, I’m realizing that I’m the most casually dressed person here, and I haven’t spied any other unnaturally-colored hair (no old-lady, blue-hair jokes – librarians are hip, dammit!), but no matter. Jenna Freedman will be here Friday, represent.
I really enjoyed listening to Jessamyn West’s program “Tiny Libraries: How to Use Technology Sensibly in Small Libraries”. Her style of presenting technology is astounding: concise and informative, without alienating those hearing the terms for the first time. I try not to be a techsnob, and really really try not to roll my eyes when someone says, “What’s Wikipedia?”, so now I can channel her poise and ability to use fun (and yet still useful) analogies. My favorite was that open source is like a free kitten. Yes, it’s free, but it requires care and upkeep. (The context was of using an opensource OPAC like KOHA).
I’ve now been in the same room as Nancy Pearl, so I can die a happy librarical death.
Jason came with me, so we hit the town tonight. We ate at a restaurant called Admiral T.J. Hooker’s. Not really, but I’m too full to think properly. I ate a lot.
Now what? Rest, recoup, watch HBO, and get ready for tomorrow. I’m looking forward to more youth services programs. I think after this conference, I’ll be full to the brim of conferences. I feel like what I want now is to invite a dozen of the closest youth services librarians from my area over for drinks, ply them with alcohol, and pick their brains. Hmmmm.
*That’s an old Green Family Trio inside joke. But seriously, it’s the sound we think a cat makes when a small child picks it up under the arms and its legs are hangin’ down and its neck is all sqooshd. Here’s what I’m talking about.