Things I <3 about conferences
Posted by lpearle on 23 January 2009
I whine too much about conferences and the things I hate… but here’s what I love: seeing friends. All too often the people I’m professionally close to/mentored by/on committees with are located around this great country of ours and I rarely get to see them. Except at conferences, of course.
So today’s lunch was with the incredible E-Techer herself, Ellysa. We chatted about her daughter (whom I jokingly call my namesake) growing her hair to my hair’s length, her upcoming sabbatical, our professionnal lives, her jealously about all my days cuddled with The Boys, etc.. And we talked shop.
Every time, I learn things from Ellysa. For example, she’s a stalker. She thinks – with a pretty good degree of certitude – that she knows where Annoyed Librarian is employed, and possibly who AL is. I’m pretty convinced.
And then there’s the whole tech thing. We’re deciding where to go for lunch, and she’s got her oh-so-trendy iPhone and some widget that looks like a slot machine but for dining choices. And then there are the directions to the dining place we chose. And we looked at Facebook and a You Tube video and.. and… I showed her my phone, state-of-the-art in 2003.
We also talked about conference keynotes, and how disappointing they often are. I hate it when I hear “oh, you librarians are wonderful. I mean it – you changed my life!!!” UGH. I want to hear from people that are going to challenge me – tell me that I’m not going to be needed in 5 years, and why. Either tell me how I can make myself relevant, or challenge me to find ways on my own. Don’t just flatter me. Make me think. Make me work.
Thanks, E, for an incredibly thought-provoking and informative lunch. And maybe I will consider skipping up a few phone generations!
Upcoming: dinner with friends/editorial board colleagues tonight… breakfast with E tomorrow… dinner/drinks with Independent School librarians tomorrow… breakfast with Courtney, the Sassy Librarian, Sunday… and we’ll see what other opportunities present themselves.
Sometimes, I really do love conferences!