Thursday, March 19, 2009

ACRL 2009: An Overview

It's hard to believe the ACRL conference has come and gone; I spent so much time preparing that the actuality was almost anticlimactic. I took a vacation day and designated Wednesday a travel day for two reasons (1) it was cheaper to pay an extra night in the hotel than fly out Thursday, and (2) I wanted to take one of the Seattle tours before the conference officially opened. It worked well, I was able to have a bit of time to acclimate myself to the new time zone and see a few sights on an unusually sunny Seattle day. I took over 300 photos, got yummy chocolate covered cherries at Pike Place Market and our tour bus hit a parked car ... but that's another thing.

I enjoyed this conference a great deal more than the ACRL conference in Minnesota, not because of the venue or location, but because the programs offered were a bit more diverse. My particular favorite was the Cyber Zed Shed; a series of twenty minute technology presentations offered near the poster session pavilion. There are only so many instruction and research sessions a body can take, these were great windows of opportunity. I gleefully attended six or seven of these mini-sessions (more on them later) and brought back some very usable tips, tricks, and technology.

ACRL's opening keynote speaker was Rushworth Kidder, replacing author Naomi Klein. Kidder presented an intriguing discussion on ethics and "Moral Courage." I also had opportunity to hear young adult author, poet, and screenwriter Sherman Alexie, known to me because of his book The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian, as a keynote speaker Friday evening. The conference reception on Saturday evening was at the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Hall of Fame, definitely a unique location with interesting exhibits and plenty to eat.

Sunday brought snow to the Seattle area, a weather phenom as odd as the sunshine it seems. Though the shuttle bus drive had to stop three times on the way to the airport to clean the windshield, we arrived in plenty of time. Someday I'll understand why it takes four hours to fly from Houston to Seattle and only three hours to fly from Seattle to Houston, but not today. Someday I'll understand why pilots have to say "mechanical" problem when we are waiting for maintenance to bring a stopper for the bathroom before take-off, but my lunch hour is over and I do not have time to ponder this either.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Chewing on Technology for Lunch

Contrary to popular belief, especially considering the last post here was the 16th of February, I have not abandoned my blogging roots. Honest.

I am currently reaping the rewards of an overachiever multitasking; presenting at a local conference last week, preparing to present a poster at ACRL next week, surviving midterms for two classes (one completely online graduate level), finessing a plethora of web page updates, and - let's not forget - actually performing my librarian duties. While updating my vitae this morning, I spent time convincing myself it would all be worth it in the end. Right now it's a hard sell.

I haven't ordered a juvenile book in weeks! I have four journals awaiting my perusal and subsequent selection (aka collection development). On the plus side:
  • The recent slow down on ordering allowed invoices to clear. The acquisitions librarian will have an easier time processing my records of spending against her records.
  • After the ACRL conference, I'll have a clear picture of remaining budget lines and be able to to allocate remaining funds where they will do the most good.
  • I have another presentation to add to my vitae.
  • I have another poster session to add to my vitae (a first with ACRL).
  • I have another grad class to add to my vitae, along with the lab class.
  • I refreshed skills with PowerPoint and Publisher.
  • I learned how to use Google sites and created a web site to supplement the online course, using Google sites to teach about Google sites.
  • I learned about all sorts of cool new web 2.0 technology at the recent conference including Pageflakes, VoiceThread, Voki, Animoto, Jing, Photofeedd, Photobucket, and Prezi.
  • I had technology refreshers in Flickr, Picasa, and TeacherTube.

Now, if only I had time to read a book. I miss my lunchtime children's literature reading hour.