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Of Birds, Not Seeing Posters, Not Getting Fed, Not Attending a Session

I really have been attending sessions. Really I have. And I’ve done a lot of other conference-ish things. But right now I’m taking a break, sitting on a comfy couch, and wondering how I can help the poor trapped birds.

Let me back up a little. I went to a panel presentation on the future of reference. MySpace and Facebook – yes; Second Life – no. At least according to what we heard today. I think braving the coffee lines before going to this session would have helped me get more out of that session, but it takes dedication and a good deal of time to get caffeinated here, and I wasn’t caffeinated enough to face the task this morning.

I was going to be a good girl and see the posters, but when 2000 people try to squeeze into a space the size of a large meeting room, find themselves unable to either see the posters or move toward or away from said posters, it just isn’t worth it.

Then I attended a paired session where one group presented on a research portal they’ve designed and another group presented on a survey the did to determine what would help their students actually use search systems. Interesting stuff. And both made the point that in many ways, librarians are ahead of the technology curve when compared to other parts of the academic community, including the students. It made me hope that we’re actually ahead of the curve rather than on a different hill… but it was still interesting that both the faculty and the students that they mentioned were not nearly as in to personalizing sites or RSS as the librarians thought they would be.

Then came lunch… They drastically underestimated the number of people who would be eating it. Consequently, my table waited for ages upon ages while they ran out of food and had to go make more. Most people at my table ate their dessert first (since that was at our places when we sat down), but dessert was cake, and I’m allergic to eggs, so I was out of luck. Oh, and the speaker was John Waters who did more of a stand-up routine than anything else, and not a G rated one, either. In fact, one person from my group (an IT person from my college) asked afterwards if that would go over with this crowd. Well, the conversation in the bathroom line immediately after lunch leaned strongly toward the negative. Some people found it hilarious. Others were pretty offended.

But now, after lunch, half of a pair of papers, and a successful quest for coffee, I’m sitting in the quietest corner I can find watching the sparrows who’ve inadvertently come into the building chirp in confusion and consternation as they gaze out of the glass walls. These sparrow and I will not be braving the poster session that’s going on right now. These sparrows and I will sit here and amuse ourselves by differentiating between the ACRL attendees and the attendees of the Mary Kay convention that’s going on in the same building. It ain’t hard. If you see black heals, it’s Mary Kay (Do they ever wear anything else? I’ve never seen so many black skirt-suits and heals! Do they have a uniform?).

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One Comment

  1. Mark Mark

    Sorry to hear about lunch. And the poster sessions. They were completely broken last time, too.

    And they say librarians are capable of learning. Probably. But library associations? Not so much it seems.

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