CA trip part one: conference

Instead of working my conference experience into all the other sights and activities of my California trip, I have decided to just write a separate post completely dedicated to the conference alone.  I have made it my first because: A.) most of you will find it the most boring, and B.) I haven’t totally gathered all my thoughts about what I would like write about for the rest of the trip.

I attended the Internet Librarian 2008 Conference in Monterey, CA.  And while this does sound like such a geeky event, it really was a wonderful conference.  I met lots of interesting people, attended some really great sessions, and chatted with some vendors about how their products could potentially help our projects here at home. 

Most of the workshops I attended were specifically geared towards web design, web 2.0, and tools & gadgets that can help distribute and use information in much more efficient ways.  Of course, as is the trend, most every speaker hammered in the principles of collaboration, freedom of information, and bridging the technology gap. 

There were a handful though that when I stood up and walked out of the room, I felt fired up and ready to go take on the world – or at least my workplace.  A couple of these speakers really hit home on some issues and presented in a style that made the room electric, the ideas start flowing, and I, along with everyone else, just felt extremely motivated.  It is always refreshing to hear these types of speakers.  It always seems that just at the moment I get a teensy bit burnt out or am just feeling stressed and overworked, someone like this comes along and provides the exact pep talk I need to hear.  It’s just the fuel I need to refill the tank and keep fighting the good fight. 

I also met some really interesting people in my field from all over the world.  One specific individual is a researcher for the president of her country and prepares his information packets on current events, dignitaries, history, etc…  It was fascinating chatting with her over dinner one night and again for lunch the next day.  We discussed politics, our cultures, current events, and sports.  I was very impressed with her knowledge of all these things.  I will be looking forward to keeping in touch with her over time and continuing to compare notes on our profession and the world around us.

So anyway, I am extremely glad for the opportunity to have been able to go.  It was well worth the time – I brought back so many ideas, helpful tools, and motivation.  My boss even told me he almost hates to send me to these things because I always come back full of information to dump on him.  I tell him though, isn’t that why he sends me????  Go figure…  Anyway, as I noted earlier, the actual trip experiences I will share in later posts.  But the conference was great and I really enjoyed it.

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