Saturday, February 03, 2007

OLA Superconference 2007 Day Three

Ugh, another early start. It should be illegal to get up this early on a Saturday. That being said, the morning's plenary was worth the extra latte.

Solutions for a New Generation
Max Valiquette from Youthopia lead this talk and waxed poetically about today's youth culture. Talking about "kids today" makes me want to throw up and slit my wrists (in that order). Don't get me wrong, I find it fascinating to hear about the various forms of technology that kids are throwing themselves at, and the ways and reasons why they are growing up so damn fast and causing adults to hang on to their every word and trend. It's the thought of one day employing these tiny monsters that puts the dread in my soul. Max spoke about their sense of entitlement, expectations of grandeur of lack of respect for all forms of authority. Awesome. He explained that occassionally these tendencies lead to great things. ie Craig Killborn - a young man who was so completely convinced that he could affect child poverty and labour...that he in fact has. He's done far more than any form of government or any agency led by old white guys.
It didn't hurt that Max is totally adorable and the audience was putty in his hands.
Hel-uh.

Tech Trends
I live for this session. I sit front and centre and madly scribble notes as each of the panel members speak. I've attended this session ever since I was a library student and back then I was so green that I didn't understand a single word coming out of the speakers. Nowadays I'm a tiny bit more savvy and my rabid blog consumption has kept me closer to the trends they were discussing. A brilliant edition to this years blog panel was John Blyberg from the infamous Ann Arbour Library! Mecca itself. Here's my summary from each speaker:

Amanda Etches-Johnson:
1. RSS - recognizable iconography making leaps and bounds in adoption
2. Library web sites - no longer possible to sit back and leave it for one person to work on once a week.
3. Mindful application of social software - be available in spaces that are useful to our users.

John Blyberg:
1. What is success in the age of 2.0?
2. Cooperate!

Michael Stephens:
1. Conversation - people want to talk, use social tools to encourage this!
2. Convergence - old and new media are converging and so are devices
3. Content - librarians have opportunities to facilitate creation of content.
4. Redefining LIS jobs - new positions at Mac and Kingston leading the way
5. Citizen journalism
6. Openness and sharing - open source LIS (Koha)
7. Participation
8. Experience and Play

One of the audience members asked "If we're supposed to be adding these elements what should we be dropping?" John Blyberg had a fabulous response that I'd like to frame or tattoo somewhere visible:
"You are getting paid! Your job is to do these things and learn! There are no more excuses for complacency."
I love it.

We had the standard lunch of chicken and veg and the welcome surprise of carrot cake for dessert. Sean Cullen had a family emergency so our last minute replacement was the chick from Royal Canadian Air Farce. We left when our cake was done.

Another excellent OLA Superconference. I'm always a little sad when it's all done. But now it's time to clean up my conference bag and sort through my goodies.

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