My CIL Impressions

I’m going to try and say alot of things over the next week or so, but I thought I’d summarize some key thoughts for now.

  1. Meh.  It was a conference.   It was a good conference even.  But sitting through the good and average in terms of presentations, I realize that I want conversations that matter more and more.     I think I want to hear more of and about the unconference world, because I think libraries need that much, much more — especially where Library 2.0 stuff is concerned.
  2. Nothing really changed my thinking in any significant way.  This is a bit of a shame, because I’m always on the look-out for that one keynote or major presentation that is just going to blow me away, in a perspective sense.   It didn’t happen.   Steven Cohen was close, but his topic was RSS tips, which really isn’t a “blow you away” sort of presentation.
  3. Highlight presentations.    My favs were Steven Cohen (as I said before) on RSS, Roy Tennant & Tim Spalding on the Future of the OPAC, er catalogue.   David Lee King‘s presentation on change management in libraries was great too.   Steven just has a great energy for presenting that kept things interesting.   Roy and Tim were dead on, and I saw a good many audience members drooling at the prospect of a “fun” and “fun-ctional” catalogue.   David did a great job engaging the audience in discussion.  I also went to Michelle Boule & Meredith Farkas‘ presentation on the 5 weeks project.   It was good, but having spent so much time watching that project flourish, I probably should have went somewhere else.
  4. Greatest Decisions I Made:  Setting up a meeting with Jessamyn West.   We had a great talk over coffee on everything from “Slow” Libraries to my hometown to what it’s like to work for rural libraries (great, but a hard push to get technologies implemented).
  5. Worst Decision I Made:  Not bringing my laptop.    Poo on the whole “turn off during the conference” thing.   With all the twittering going on, it really seemed like I was missing the “real” conference.   The laptop comes with me next time.
  6. Great people I met:  David Free, Meredith Farkas, David Lee King, Helene Blowers, Jessamyn West, Amanda Etches-Johnson, Nicole Engard, Steve Cohen and Ellyssa Kroski.   I really didn’t get a chance to talk to a few other bloggers like Rachel Singer Gordon and Iris Jastram, but at least got to see them and say “hello.”   On the whole, I think it was the networking stuff that was most useful to me.
  7. Most fun at the conference:  Dinner with Ellyssa and her husband.   Tapas and Spanish beer!  Yum.
  8. My suggestions:  Allow for fewer longer presentations and more time during the day to network etc.    Have real mingling opportunities, like some kind of gala or something.   Bigger venue, if possible.    Arrange for some wireless love for the conference if possible.

7 thoughts on “My CIL Impressions

  1. So close, but no cigar, eh? Is there any way that RSS can still “blow you away”? I’m still fascinated at what RSS can do and how it can improve my work.

    Great to have finally met you. 🙂


  2. Oh — RSS certainly blows me away, as did your presentation. It’s the “really changed my thinking” part that was missed.

    Usually you expect a keynote to take on that task though, eh?

    Then again, if I admit that I shoulda been Twittering at the conference, maybe there was a change. . .. 🙂

    We oughta do beverages too next time. 🙂


  3. Hey Ryan! It was great seeing you at the conference! For what it’s worth, I wasn’t particularly inspired this time around either, though I do find myself thinking about certain things in a different way. I think the best conversations do happen outside of the conference sessions, but not just on Twitter. I wish you’d come out more with us to lunches, dinners and after dinner drinks. I never saw you much at those times, and those were really the times when interesting ideas about what we want to do (or were doing) at our own libraries were discussed and great fun was had.

    To be sure, no keynote at an Information Today conference has ever blown me away (though I really did enjoy Andy Carvin much more than most keynotes). However, I question whether or not we’re the target audiences. CIL is tough because it’s not a serious techie conference so you get people from all levels of skill and experience. And it’s difficult to decide which population to target in your talk, because it will likely either be over some people’s heads or old news/basic.

    Either way, it was wonderful FINALLY meeting you, and I hope we will have the opportunity in the future to hang out more. Otherwise, we’ll always have AIM. 🙂


  4. Hey! I couldn’t *find* you guys most times. Except that one evening on the Monday. I think the Twitter factor might have helped me find out where all the cool kids hung out. 🙂 If I was a more adept social networker (tech or no) then I could have compensated I suppose. Next time I’ll learn to be better.

    Really, it was great meeting all you folks. And we are all still young so there is plenty of opportunity for more conferences.


  5. Hello…thanks for posting your honest impressions about the conference…it seems like recaps are either totally enthusiastic or totally critical, and you have a nice mixture of both…and I appreciate your suggestions for attending future conferences.


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