OLA/WLA Conference Report

by Gordon Turner

SLIM-OR SCALA Vice-President

After sorting through the handouts and swag that I got from the recent OLA/WLA conference(thanks to the folks at Alldata for the spiffy mousepad!) I thought I would write a few words about last week’s conference. I arrived bright and early on Thursday and Friday to help out with registration, helped set up the Outreach Showcase with Candise Branum, and went to the SLIM reception on Thursday. In between doing all that stuff I went to some workshops and seminars.

The topics of said workshops ranged from setting up a content management system to advice on how to win a library bond election. The one that I enjoyed the most was by SLIM PHD student Brenda Hough entitled “Experts? We don’t need no stinkin’ experts! Authority, legitimacy and liability in a wiki world”. Brenda is researching how people use wikipedia, and has come to the conclusion that most of its users go to it for fast, quick information and probably don’t use it for advanced research. As a Wikipedia skeptic, I was struck by the fact that many people only use it to look up basic factual information–it’s kind of the information equivalent of McDonald’s.

Before I go, I would like to say many thanks to all the people who volunteered to help at the registration desk. Special thanks needs to go to Erica Johnson, who I think may have moved her address temporarily to the Vancouver Hilton, being as she volunteering pretty much all day Thursday and Friday.

We would love to hear from anyone at the conference about their experiences! Please post!!

Author: elray666

My name is Gordon Turner, and I am an (about to be) minted librarian. This is my web portfolio, which highlights the best work I have done in my MLS program. Enjoy!

2 thoughts on “OLA/WLA Conference Report”

  1. I didn’t go to OLA/WLA this year, but I am scheduled for the big SLA and ALA nationals in June. I’ll take pictures and write you guys a “report” when I’m back. :)

  2. Thanks Gordon! And thanks for showing up early! We probably go the best parking!

    I really wasn’t at the registration desk all day, I would just show up randomly to steal a cookie and sit for a minute during all the neat stuff I was doing.

    I went to a panel led by Candace Morgan on protecting patron privacy and offering web 2.0 services. As expected, Candy delivered eloquent, but forceful words on why librarians should value and protect privacy. Even on behalf of patrons that may not realize how much they value it yet. Use it or loose it!

    I also saw our own Michael Baird give a great talk about some successful programs/activities he put together to get students in the Oregon State library during the college orientation event. He did things like have musicians play outside, send students out with sidewalk chalk and megaphones to promote and caught some attention with an archway made of balloons. More interestingly he talked about hat he put together inside the library: a Flikr photo contest with high end cameras from another university department, DIY e-greeting cards with pictures of the students in the library and a text message scavenger hunt. Very interesting and practical tips!

    I also went to an RDA update and a talk on selecting Content Management software.

    Most fun was had at the Emporia SLIM reception!

    Besides free food, exercise and swag this conference was good for meeting people. For those who know me I am not a network-y type, but conferences make this easier. I approached some people I have seen talk at other events and now I am following up on two possible internships! I met librarians that were hiring for jobs I have recently applied to. I talked to a few past SLIM instructors. Also, our new Dean, Gwen Alexander was there to announce our new curriculum during the OLA business lunch. I learned A TON about the real and practical things librarians are doing in Oregon and Washington.

    Don’t think twice about going to the next conference!

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