Wednesday, November 08, 2006

ALAO Conference: Keynote Speaker

Rebecca posted an excellent summation of the keynote address by Dr. J. Richard Madaus in Rebecca's ALAO Conference Report: Part One, so I am not going to reinvent the wheel in that respect. I will offer a few personal reflections regarding the keynote address. After reading the information about Dr. Madaus on the conference web site, I considered not attending the opening session; as someone who appreciates and uses OhioLINK, but does not work in technical services area of the library, I was not sure how much this address would interest me. Why? My inference concerning the keynote was that it would be mostly tech services oriented. I am very glad my need for chatting with colleagues and the promise of fresh fruit and pastry overcame my initial keynote resistance. I would have sincerely regretted missing this presentation. It would have been, as they say, "my bad."

Dr. Madaus was an engaging speaker who discussed not only emerging technology and trends, but also how they would and should affect academic libraries, librarians, and their patrons. Not being aware of, caring, or using some of the technology our patrons currently utilize may easily be the most important downfall in academic libraries today. I can not begin to count the number of times in one day I am asked questions about computers, computer software, and general technology elements beyond the library catalog, databases, and even simple Internet searches. Technology is definitely woven into the very fabric of our everyday life and as Rebecca deflty quoted Dr. Madaus, "It's not about the technology; it's about people and the way they live."

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