Thursday, January 8, 2009

Fall Conference Suggestions

All right! We've had some great conference suggestions so far.

Steve suggested a session on "using Camtasia in the library environment." Janet added that she used Camtasia in her conference presentation on making digital tutorials for libraries ("24/7 Librarianship"). But if there's enough demand for the topic, it might be worth expanding upon.

Janet had a suggestions of her own: "How about a program on how to evaluate videos – how to choose, what companies are good vendors, etc."

Also, we had a suggestion for a spring meeting session, which we were unable to include at the time, but which is definitely worth keeping in the mix: "Dressing for the job, job descriptions/policies/expectations."

Cranefarm suggested "online reference question protocol. Do we follow the same rules as a face-to-face reference interview, etc."

So that's four great suggestions! I'm going to add a couple of my own to the mix:

OCLC: Friend or Foe?
Okay, I'm really not sure such a provocative title is a good idea, but this topic formed in my mind after following numerous discussions on AUTOCAT and other mailing lists, where many people argued that the new OCLC Policy for Use and Transfer of WorldCat Records proves (or at least suggests) that OCLC is attempting to seize full control and ownership of bibliographic records created by member libraries. Others suggested that OCLC is a benevolent giant, as well as the best hope for ensuring the future of the library community. Is OCLC attempting to build a monopoly on bib records? Are their recent actions to the benefit or detriment of the library world? Are there any viable alternatives to OCLC? I'm not saying which side I'm on, but it has been an interesting debate to watch. This might make a good panel discussion, if we can get people who feel passionately on both sides, and especially if we could get someone from OCLC to come.

The Library as Third Place: Increasing Your Library's Value to Your Community.
Are you familiar with the concept of the "third place"? The first place is home, the second place is work, and the third place is where people choose to gather. How do you make your library THE place to be?

That brings us up to six session ideas. Do you like these ideas? Hate them? Sound off in the comments section!

And we want--yea, we HUNGER--for more ideas. If you have an idea for a conference session, let us know! If you have an idea of who could present one of the above sessions, or if you yourself want to present, let us know! If you don't want to put a name or contact info in the blog's comments, e-mail me directly.

And yes, this blog does allow anonymous comments if you wish to withhold your own name.

And while we're open to all topics, you get bonus points if you can link your idea to the official conference theme, Libraries: Bridges to Information.

Thanks so much for your thoughts, and keep 'em coming!