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Final Thoughts on ACRL

Looking back at ACRL, random impressions flash through my mind, connected only by my vague impressions of how well or poorly they impacted my experience.

  • iPods – not cool: (Unless you win them from vendors, of course, but that never happens to me.) It seemed counter productive to have people going from session to session, or wandering through the exhibits, with ear buds stuck in their ears. I love my iPod, but when you’re at a conference I thought the idea was that we could randomly exchange thoughts on sessions while walking from place to place. Plugging in defeats this almost entirely.
  • Colds – not cool: If you’re sick, feverish, oozing anything from any orifice of your body, hacking up a lung, or wheezing, don’t sit next to me and don’t take over half my seat. Absolutely do NOT then decide to lean over and read the notes I’m taking, even though it’s strange and interesting to see us crazy young-uns taking notes on laptops.
  • Free wireless – very cool: The coolness of free wireless needs no explanation. And the signal was always strong, and all of us bandwidth hoggers didn’t clog the system. Very cool.
  • Clickers – awesome: I’d never used a clicker before the session on federated search. In fact, I had always thought of them as kind of silly gimmicks. But I’m changing my tune. They’re FUN, and they really did get us involved in the content of the presentation.
  • Misunderestimitating food – not cool: Sitting for an hour while everyone else eats isn’t fun, especially when you’re going to a ticketed event. Shouldn’t they have known how many tickets they sold?
  • Aquarium reception – cool: What’s better than colorful fish, information desks turned into bars, and lots of librarians with whom to shoot the breeze?
  • Poster session mosh pits – not cool: I went to the first poster session, couldn’t move, couldn’t get in or out without elbowing people, and never went back. I know I missed a bunch or really amazing posters, and I even missed posters presented by people I knew. I just couldn’t make myself go back.
  • Vendor post cards – not cool: I’ve already written about this. Now it’s starting again for CIL. Grrr.
  • Injured cheer leaders – not cool: I saw too many young girls carried away or pushed around in wheel chairs, tears streaming down their cheeks. Every time I heard sirens I shuddered to think what had happened to another girl downstairs.

I have a bunch of notes from sessions, but what I don’t have is jottings down of the little things. Things like the confused sparrows. Things that I now wish I could remember better (and it’s only been a week!). So next time I travel, I’ll try to do better at taking notes on those fleeting moments.

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3 thoughts on “Final Thoughts on ACRL

  1. But a real “poster session mosh pit”; I’d have to think that would be cool. Then some of the sirens would be for injured librarians.

  2. Yes. That would be coolness itself. But when there’s no music and no joy and no way to see anything but the head in front of you and the arms next to you… not so cool.

  3. For what it’s worth, I think I remember what you told me about the confused sparrows. I can help you reconstruct. Also, I remember standing waiting for the light rail and thinking back on (and sympathizing with) the confused sparrows stuck inside the “center of everything” as some funny little boys ran around playing on the stairs and balconies.

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