March 02, 2004

PLA Report

Here is my PLA Conference wrap-up post. Iíll try and keep it fairly short, sweet and interesting.

Location, location, location. Seattle is the perfect place for a conference. I wish there were more/bigger facilities at the conference center, but having things so well contained was nice (especially compared to ALA in Chicago).

Content is one of the biggest reasons we go to these things in the first place and for me, the content rocked. Training, supervising and community building were the focus of most of the sessions I went to. All were full of shining examples of success in Libraries. There are so many amazing and surprising Librarians out there! If only there were time to go to more. I heard, however, that some people were turned away from overly packed rooms. This is a major problem.

My fairly extensive travels while training in Public Libraries often didnít provide examples of wild success. Seeing groundbreaking, highly successful and inspiring Librarians really doing powerful new things in their careers and communities is both motivating and heartwarming. If you are a Librarian and you donít go to conferences, GO! Recharge your batteries in an excellent city. Get away from home for a week. Meet people working with the same issues you are. They call it professional development for a reason!

The biggest individual highlights for me were:
1. Web Junction! Things are really picking up for these fine folks (which include you and me). They (and OCLC) hosted several functions and meetings, all of which were well attended and very interesting.
2. Meeting with so many absolutely wonderful fellow trainers at the WALT/CLENE meeting. Not only did I get to talk with a couple of old friends here, but also had the chance to talk with a couple of very interesting trainers/administrators Iím really looking forward to working with in the near future.
3. Old friends. Many blog allies, former co-workers and Library world celebrities seemed to be around every corner. Itís so fun to catch up and it is just amazing to see where everyone ends up working and living five, ten, twenty years after you first met them.

Next time you see a Library Conference that looks interesting to you, GO!

Posted by libraryman at March 2, 2004 12:20 AM
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