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Best Conference Ever… In An Odd Way

I’ve been lying here on the couch for most of the day, too tired to move, or read, or get up to put on a CD. I feel like I’ve been extruded, or beaten about the head, or like I’ve given blood twice in one day. But you know what? It was totally worth it to spend time in DC with so many of my favorite people.

The really interesting thing, for me, was that I left this conference feeling like it had been the most productive conference I’ve ever attended… only I didn’t attend this conference. I just hung out in the lobby (or on the floor when our LobbyCon ran out of chairs and so we invented CarpetCon). And yet, I had all kinds of interesting conversations with other librarians about merging IT and research service points, unconferences, taking what we can from unconference philosophy and applying it to instruction (this Catherine’s idea, which she blogged about here), academic media librarianship, the death of Second Life as a viable experiment, Open Source library catalogs and how many people are seriously considering them now, to what extent it’s a good idea to shift our information to the cloud, benefits and drawbacks of WorldCat Local, … and whatever else came to mind. It was so much fun to sit there among these incredibly smart and talented people for two days and two nights, soaking in their ideas, feeding off their energy, and doing a healthy amount of joking around in the process.

I wish I’d had a little more energy to participate in everything while I was there. A couple of times I hit that “it hurts to be alive” level of tired and had to sit out some really interesting conversations. But other than that, there’s nothing I would have changed about this trip. I loved having the actual conference right there, with all the people going to actual sessions buzzing about the things they’d heard, what they thought had been interesting, and what they thought hadn’t worked out quite so well. It was like having the blogosphere happening in real life right there in front of me.

Oh! And since every conference must have at least one “Wow, it’s a small world” moment, here’s mine from this trip. Jessamyn and Laura Crossett and I stayed up far too late Tuesday night talking in full middle school sleep-over mode. Part way through the conversation, Jessamyn mentioned the town where she lived when she was young, and it turns out that for several years I drove right past her house every single week, at least once, on my way to the church where my dad was the assistant pastor. From there I moved to a suburb of Chicago and lived less than a mile from the Dominican, where Laura Crossett was at the time. So there the three of us were, in that room, and I’d spent years and years so near each of them. Weird.

P.S. The picture above was taken by baldgeekinmd and features me (or, the half of me that didn’t spill off the right hand side of the picture… yep, that’s me in the white sweater and jeans) and a healthy chunk of the lobbycon regulars.

Published inRandom Thoughts

One Comment

  1. Polly Potter Polly Potter

    I had never heard of lobbyconning until I followed the tweets for CIL2009. All the conferences I have attended were so rushed, I didn’t have time to visit until evening meals. Neat post, Iris, keep up the good writing.

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