Appropriate title but also reminiscent of a subject heading that I discussed months ago!
Today, again, was jam-packed with sessions but that’s the general point of conferences. Three is the magic number for me because that’s about all I can max out for intact of information.
Session 1) ebrary: Strategic E-book Acquisition for Academic Libraries provided a breakfast before their talk about PDAs (patron driven acquisitions) with actual libraries to tell their stories and experiences. Hearing from others attending, it’s the best conference food, and it was good. Even though ebrary is a part of ProQuest, hearing the concerns for librarians in the room as well as their wonderful stories. Plus, several higher ups from PQ also attended, including CEO Kurt Sanford. As of right now, apparently choosing the short-term loan option has a fee that doesn’t go then towards the purchase of the book later so some of the libraries just select the PDA option. Maybe this will change in the future. Feedback is always taken to heart at ProQuest, from experience, but not always acted on.
Lesson learned: Sessions with food are well-attended and it’s great when presentations by vendors that address topics rather than just a product pitch are much more interesting and useful.
Session 2) Responsive web design: get beyond the myth of the mobile web showed just how easy and necessary it is to make library websites that adjust to the size of the device accessing them. The cool thing about this is that it’s one website with extra code that has different tweaks based on the screen size of the device, using percentages instead of pixel widths. The example website is LOL Library by presenter Matthew Reidsma that as you view it on a computer browser, resizing it will show you all the variations, the rearranging of the same content for all the different devices. He’ll put everything up online, including the code at GitHub for the LOL Library website.
Lesson learned: Everyone needs to do a single website that is built with responsive web design. There are lots of resources on the web and Matthew posted his slides and presentation so when you have time, watch it and make use of it!
Session 3) Learning Styles: Fiction, Nonfiction, Mystery? taught me all about what learning styles are and how to use them in instruction–there are 21 different types so it varies greatly. The three panelists were wonderful and it was more informative than practical which for me was perfect since I was new to the idea coming in. Oddly enough, there was a turn-and-talk discussion with the people next to us, and since I don’t teach or do instruction, I listened a lot to my neighbor and spoke of my husband Steve’s stories of his teaching that he’s shared with me; the librarian I spoke with was very skeptical about the presented information and told me about what his alternative views are on what’s important and affects instruction to make it more meaningful and useful for students. Lots of food for thought!
Lesson learned: Though people are presenting on a topic, sometimes it’s good to be a skeptic and think about different ways to approach the issue and other creative solutions. Plus, my discussion partner mentioned What best college teachers do as a great practical book–so look into it if this is important to your work!
Exhibit Hall for some is the essence of the conference but for me I avoid it. One, lots and lots of people make it overwhelming. Yet what it really comes down to is that I don’t need or want to collect books, plus I have no scope for talking to vendors or other companies that provide equipment and software to libraries. It’s weird working for ProQuest in that sense but it also means that I don’t have to wait in lines for book signings or pack/ship tons of books home. During some down time between sessions, I did wander though out the whole hall during a fairly quiet time, so I literally got handed books that got immediately singed by the authors and illustrators. Thank goodness my friend Addie is a school librarian and happily took the handful that I collected. I did get registered for a chance to win two Kindles, and finally found the booth giving out free Brave tickets.
Dinner with friends and then watching Brave for free in a theater full of librarians was the highlight of the day, though. Seriously, it’s a great family movie and a really fun daughter/mother adventure so ladies go with your moms!
Tomorrow morning begins at 8 a.m. yet again–what is with such early morning sessions? Start early, end early to give people an evening for other stuff, I guess! Full plate yet again. How about you?