Category Archives: LibCons

Library conferences I’ve atteded, with most posts coming from the days I was at the conference.


I’m in Washington DC this week, exhibiting with LibraryThing at Computers in Libraries.

I’m staying with Shane and E, which has been wonderful, because they’re part of my friend family, and they don’t get mad when I come home late from working, or care that I fall asleep on the couch while Shane watches baseball mans.

There was a bonus Angela weekend, which I thoroughly took advantage of – eating food, lazing about, etc.

Ooh, I just read Shane and E’s blog post about me coming, and I echo all the sentiments. And then some.

too tired to think of a witty or useful title

So many things happened so fast, after moving to Boston. I had just started getting the hang of my job when Easter weekend hit. Luckily, I had just indulged in an iPhone, so I could continue to do my job whilst barreling down I90 with Jason at the wheel.


We had a fabulous weekend. I’m so lucky to have a sig.oth. with a family I like. We got into Buffaloland around dinnertime, so Jason’s parents took us out for a fish fry (I love Lent for the fish). We then drove into the city to meet up with some of Jason’s rad high school friends. We went to the coolest history-themed bar of all time, I drank too much, and we partied till dawn. (I haven’t done that in a loooong time.) I may or may not have won a game of darts, but definitely bragged that I did.

The rest of the weekend was cozy family hanging out. Saturday night we watched Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. Sunday we familied it up, then drove alllll the way back home.

Today I was kind of zonked, but Abby had taken care of the loose ends of printing info and businessmarks[1]. I’m legit!


So now I pack up my giant rhino and fly to Minneapolis to be an exhibitor at PLA, and hang out with various and sundry friends.

[1]A business card bookmark

PLA pals

So hey, I’m going to PLA.

What does that mean?

I’m going to be in Minneapolis from March 25th-30th. If you’re going to PLA, or live in Minneapolis, let me know so we can hang out.

Things that come back to haunt.

I may not have mentioned this, but last year at the ALA conference, I used interpretive dance as a weapon against bad DJing during a 3M event.

Karla found this on the DJ’s site:
Sonya and Maggie gettin' down.

If I’m not wrong, the particular song we’re dancing to is Purple Rain.

There is not a hint of sarcasm in my voice when I say that I’m sure my mother is proud of me. We’ve always been a dancepartyUSA family.


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.

Highlight reel:
(click to see large)

workity.jpg Jason’s weekend workity

hear_me_roar.jpg We got to use the men’s room!

spider-bad.jpg Spider-Man or Strong Bad?

gazebo.jpg Jason’s hiding place

bookquilt.jpg Librarical quilt

What do cats say when they’re squeezed around the middle?


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.

Tiny Tech

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.