virtual conferencing and a few more talks

I was at an NHLA business meeting talking to people about why they might care about what I had for breakfast. It’s a flip way of talking about the whole “Who cares about Twitter/Facebook/Social?” stuff that I feel I hear softly filtering down from offline populations who mostly know about this sort of technology through print media and TV. So, given an opportunity to talk about what I do all day, I explained how social media permeates and penetrates the things I do.

My employer, MetaFilter, has a strong social component as well as claiming over 200 librarians among its members. While the site itself is fairly restricted to bloggish interaction, we have some super-organized members who like to compile Best Of sorts of lists over on our wiki. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but the Read Me page on the wiki now has links to over 1000 threads worth of book recommendations.

Last week I was down at Simmons where I gave a really short talk about … talking. Basically talking about what public speaking entails and offers in the larger world of librarianship. It’s called “You Do What For A Job?” and you might like it.

So, since I was sticking around town working this month I didn’t go to Internet Librarian or most of NELA, and a few smaller conferences. It was fun to read other people’s summaries, and occasionally real-time reactions, for all the presentations. I’ll be making a sort of “what I learned from not going to conferences” post sometime in the next few days. For now, I’m done with public speaking until March and I’m pretty okay with that. It’s been a fun Fall season.

five talks in five days in two countries

So. I just got back from a weeklong trip that took me to Somerville, Nova Scotia and environs, and the Manchester/Hooksett New Hampshire area. You can see some photos. This is what I did there.

  • I went to a brown bag lunch with the Dalhousie students which I mentioned a few days ago. It was really a good time. It was the first brown bag lunch session of the year and there was a big group of first and second year students there, as well as a few faculty members. People had done their homework and had really interesting questions to ask me from many different facets of what I do. We had a nice talk.
  • I helped Ryan Deschamps kick off the Learning 2.0 program he is doing at Halifax Public Libraries. I gave a talk on Learning 2.0 called Smart Tiny Tech and hung around for some of the other activities. The Learning 2.0 program is such a fun and non-threatening way to get people really digging under the hood learning some technology topics, I love seeing it being rolled out.
  • I gave a talk at NSLA about Library 2.0 topics, a little more “big picture” and a little less specific. I like doing this talk because I can always take the general outline and add local 2.0 examples so it doesn’t look like all 2.0 development is at Ann Arbor District Library and a few other techie-seeming places. My favorite new find was the Natural Resources Library of Canada (Ottowa) and their del.icio.us links.
  • Sunday I came home to the states, but not quite back to Vermont. Today I went to the NHLA Everything You Always Wanted to Know About 2.0 workshop where I presented with Andrea and Lichen. I gave a talk about Flickr and del.icio.us and one about Open Source Software which was a modification of Eric Goldhagen’s open source talk that I linked to here (direct link to his ppt). Then we stuck around for the gadget session and the geek session where we actually got a significant amount of hands-on time with the things we had been talking about. This was a really great and often-overlooked thing to be able to do.

Now I’m home and I’m uploading pictures and digging through backed up email and getting ready to start my work week tomorrow after some serious time off. Thanks to everyone who made the trip not just possible but enjoyable. update: Lichen has links to her talks and notes from the day up as well.

NHLA Conferences from days past

When I went to prowl around the Carpenter Memorial Library in Manchester, I saw some old photos of a previous NH Library Association Conference from, I think, 1924. Take a look at these librarians. Greg took a few nice shots of the library interior, love that octagonal reference desk!

NHLA day one, first talk

I’m giving two talks at NHLA. I gave the keynote today — I LOVE getting to talk about big ideas, keynotes are fun — and now it is online: Until We’re All Robots: Sensible Approaches to Technology in Libraries. It won’t make too much sense unless you look at the printable version with the hidden notes, but you’ll notice I am starting to get a little craftier with the presentations.

NHLA conference this week, come say hi

The New Hampshire Library Association is having their annual conference in Manchester this coming week. I’ll be there giving a talk about blogs and a talk about robots. Please stop by and say hello if you’re there. I’ll have some new stylesheets for my talks.