Thursday, April 15, 2010

CIL2010: Final Thoughts

I can report without reservation, I enjoyed my first Computers in Libraries conference. There were a plethora of online resources available before, during, and after the conference, including the CIL 2010 Conference site, CIL 2010 Infotoday wiki, and LibConf blog. I admit to shameful under-utilization of the wiki and blog prior to the conference, but have returned view keynote speaker videos and presentations posted after sessions. Here are a few of my final thoughts about the CIL 2010 conference.

Session organization
Conference tracks were useful; I had opportunity to attend sessions in all but one (actually, had I copied the session room number correctly I would have hit them all) and each had something unique to offer. It was helpful to have a wide-variety of interesting topics, especially since my job covers a bit of everything but traditional bibliographic instruction. There was never a time I "settled" for second choice or went to a session because nothing else interested me.

Individual sessions

I learned something useful, was introduced to new resources, or had opportunity to reflect and discuss relevant topics in every session I attended. If I was familiar with a tool, how someone else integrated it into their library provided reinforcement. During several sessions, discussion after the presentation provided as many resources as the session itself. This morning I started compiling my list on delicious for reference @

I am particularly interested in learning more about QR codes and am going to investigate uses a bit further. Mr. Coyne provided links to academic libraries using QR, as well as a starting point for creating the codes. It could be a fun way for me to highlight my wall of picture book covers, placing codes on particular covers, or to insert in LibGuides to use for bookmarks and marketing when classes come to the IRC, or to add to my summer course session of emerging technologies for education (a cool way to use phones in school for treasure hunts or ....). Critical thinking was another session worth investigating further.

Conference venue
What a perk to have tables and power outlets available in each break-out room! Thrilled with taking my new netbook to the conference, I appreciated being able to extend battery life while blogging and taking notes. Rooms were standard for conferences; some were wide, some were long, some had great views, some had impeded views (those poles!), and one had an overflow room. I did attend one session in an overflow room and found it odd to see and hear a presentation without a live person in the room. Even though I felt at home with large round barriers in odd places, AU library has a similar "pole issue" and we build shelving and arrange our collections around them, there were times I had to choose between a view of the presenter and a view of the screen (I took the screen).

Internet Availability
It was nice to have free Internet/wi-fi during the day; working on various conference program committees I know how expensive it can be to offer attendees uninterrupted service throughout the life of the conference. However, I found it disconcerting when my connection shut off at the end of each final afternoon session. When talking to people after presenting on Monday, I attempted to locate my LibGuide to discuss, illustrate, and expand on a query. After receiving cannot connect messages, I realized it was not my typing or fingernails, the connection was gone.

An aside: It annoyed me to have to pay each evening for Internet in my room. I find it inconceivable a Hyatt Regency did not offer guests free online access.

Speaker stuff
Computers in Libraries is a conference I had read about, heard great things about, but never had opportunity to attend. To be able to present was - and in still is - exciting. There was consistent email communication from the conference committee (reminders, updates, deadlines) and they patiently answered each of my questions. There was attention to detail; email from the person introducing session speakers, online technology requirement forms, and a personalized speaker portal.

Computers in Libraries 2011
The final LibConf blog post titled, See You At CIL 2011, by Don Hawkins.

"At the close of the Exhibit Hall, Tom Hogan announced the final attendance: 2,115. Thanks to everyone who attended and contributed to the success of CIL 2010."

"Now our thoughts are turning to CIL 2011, which will return to the former CIL venue: the Washington Hilton."

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