I’m so bad at napping that I nearly always give up the struggle, even when I’m completely exhausted. So here I am blogging rather than napping. And speaking of blogging, I was sitting there at Steven Cohen’spresentation (or rather, on the stairs outside of the overflowing overflow room), taking notes and using my wireless connection to show people around me the stuff Steven was showing but that none of us could see (thank goodness for Google). Oh, and it was a good set of tools, even if Fleck does kick CiteBite’s butt, no matter what Steven says. :-P
In fact, it was probably the intimacy of sitting on the floor together, hovering over a couple of laptop monitors, and getting all jazzed up over fun technology that led one of the other women near me to come up afterwards and ask how I manage to blog sessions. She said she’d seen me typing away at an earlier session, and she sounded more than a little skeptical that anyone could possibly type and listen all at the same time. So I showed her my raw notes (especially URLs for slides or other interesting sites), how I highlight in bold any portion of those notes that I think will make good inclusions in a blog post, and how I add parenthetical comments to remind me what questions or ideas the sessions sparked. Then I showed her how I take the notes and create posts around them whenever I get a minute (and some working wireless, which got pretty rare as the conference progressed).
“But you’re still typing,” she protested, “which seems like it’d make it harder for you to listen to what’s being said.” Thinking back, I only gave her one third of the whole answer to that issue. I explained that I can type a lot faster than I can write long-hand, so I actually hear more of the session than I would if I were writing on paper. But I didn’t explain that typing with an eye to synthesizing for a blog post helps me stay on task when I’m listening to presentations (as Nichole just blogged… it’s another inadvertent-blog-topic-convergence day). It forces me to look for the themes and primary points in the presentations. I don’t end up blogging every session, but I do end up taking blog-ready notes for almost every session.
And of course there’s the final third of the puzzle. When presenters end up explaining something I already understand, I can compose the actual blog posts while I keep an ear out for when the presentation moves on to topics or perspectives that are newer to me. The fact that I only posted a couple of times a day during this conference speaks to the general lack of such down-times for me, which is a good thing. But it did happen occasionally.
In the end, the skeptical woman walked away looking relieved that I wasn’t wasting my conference registration fee (or hotel costs, which was significantly more expensive). Maybe next year she’ll have a blogger banner on her name tag. :)
Sitting here in the airport, waiting to go home after a morning spent with such last-minute things as figuring out how much to tip hotel maids, everything seems suspended out of time. I’m exhilarated and exhausted all at the same time. Happy to go home, sorry to leave. It’s been four wonderful days full of ideas, inspirations, fun, and the best company imaginable.
In the absence of an internet connection (when did this become such an life necessity?), I took the time to draft this post and transfer my pictures from my camera to my laptop. Tagging them as I went, I had to giggle when I remembered the librarian next to me in one of the session when, asked to write down a tag for a picture the presenter projected, wrote her tag in perfect LCSH (including double dashes). You’ve gotta love librarians. And I must admit, I have librarianish tagging tendencies, too. I use plurals to describe countable nouns and singulars to describe uncountable nouns, I don’t often tag pictures of me “me,” and I rarely attach more than a couple tags for any picture. But I draw the lines at double dashes and qualifiers.
And you’d have to be a librarian to get a kick out of the jokes that were flying a couple nights ago at the Irish pub in town. The CIL snowball effect had taken hold and we’d gathered well over 20 librarians by the time we left the hotel. One of them (our personal jester, as it turned out) looked up as we sat in the pub, noticed a bunch of books lined up and tilting into the spaces where some had been removed, and asked “Does anyone have the compulsion to go straighten those books?” We giggled. That was only the beginning. That was before our jester (Eric Sizemore) nearly killed Steven Cohen by suggesting that we twitter in DDC… “How are you feeling?” … “745.5944″ … and then we started twittering requests for DDC translations of concepts … and then some librarians started twittering us the answers. Yeah. We completely geeked out. You probably had to be there, but for those of us who were, it’ll live on in CIL lore for generations.
But now my plane is getting ready to board. I’m not a nervous flier, but I always get a little nervous about my seat neighbor. Two equal horrors may await me: it might be a nervous (or worse, an air-sick) flier, or it might be a talker. My duo combo of audio book on iPod AND magazine (which I pretend to read) should take care of the later, but there’s no help for the former. Luckily the former is very, very rare.
There are a couple more sessions I’ll blog about later. But for now, wish me happy travels.
Ok, I’ve tried this a couple of times, now, and I think Blogger officially hates YouTube (maybe it’s some step-sibling rivalry or something). So here I go again… shorter… not as much excitement in my tone… and not as much detail. Blame Blogger.
This morning’s keynote was on the Library of Congress’ new project (scheduled to be available summer of 2008) to digitize culturally significant items from seven countries: the U.S., Brazil, Russia, Spain, France, Egypt, and the Netherlands. And yes, everything will be available in all seven languages. What a job.
The talk was interesting, but the demo video he showed at the end was very, very cool. Yes, I like shiny things… Very cool. Check it out:
I’ve been having such a great time that it’s strange to think today is the last day of CIL. Some people are already heading out this morning. And everyone’s saying, “See you at Internet Librarian…” which makes me jealous that everyone else is GOING to Internet Librarian. Oh well.
Even though I’ve met new people every day, there are still a few of you out there that I just haven’t managed to cross paths with (at least, not knowingly). This is it, folks. Say Hi today or you’ll have to wait until next year. So if you see an olive green computer backpack wandering around on some girl’s back, there’s a good chance that back is mine. I haven’t seen any other olive green computer backpacks.
With day two drawing for a close, my brain is full again. I need one of those pools of memories like in the Harry Potter books…
Today the most memorable quote of the day goes to Gao Tao. He was explaining Joomla and how they’d implemented it at his library. In the midst of telling us about decisions and meetings and other such fun stuff that you have to go through when implementing a major change in a library, he said, “The bad news is that you may get frustrated. The good news is that I just saved a bunch of money on car insurance.” Wow. The room erupted. And this was even after we’d grown to love him when he said to “please let me know if you’re having trouble hearing me, or if I start speaking in Chinese.”
Later I attended a presentation on Hennepin County Library’s inclusion of patron and librarian “comments” (reviews, annotations, etc.) in their catalog. Funny that I traveled all the way to DC to hear a guy who works just up the road… The most important thing I learned, though, was that rating and commenting should BOTH be present. I’d always kind of dismissed rating catalog records, but Hennepin has found that they end up with numbers (like “7/10″ or just “5″) written in their comments. So obviously people want this feature.
Oh, and there were ponies in Michelle and Meredith’s presentation, as promised. But the theme had evolved by presentation time, so it wasn’t just a pony…. it was a pony with a monocle. I’m not clear on how the monocle thing started (even though I was in the room when the scheme was hatched the night before), but Jason donated his photoshop skills to add the monocle. It was cool. Oh, and the presentation was good to. :)
After coffee, I sat on the stairs outside of Steven Cohen’s “What’s Hot with RSS” presentation. Why the stairs? Because the overflow room was full… After we’d colonized the stairs people started sitting (in neat rows, for some reason) down the hall. Amazing. I wished I’d had internet access during that one because people around me kept asking to see the stuff he was showing, or wondered about alternatives to the tools he showed. But I didn’t. But I did get somebody else started on Twitter, and explained blogging to somebody else. Fun stuff.