The showcases at the OLA/WLA joint conference covered a broad range of programs and initiatives being created and implemented around libraries in the Northwest. Showcases were presented in three categories. These being: outreach, training and instruction, and grant funded and innovative programs. The showcases represented a diverse assortment of programs from open access institutional repositories, to gaming, to grants for digital initiatives, and to literacy, just to name a very few. There were over 40 showcase presenters from public, academic, school, and private libraries. I was impressed by the quality of the showcases, the information that was provided, and the interest and enthusiasm of each presenter on her/his topic. This was my first time participating in a conference in such a format. I thought it a good experience and something upon which I could build either for further display or instruction in other environments. I would encourage other students to participate in poster or showcase opportunities, as these are really less of an intimidating way of participating in conferences. If you aren’t familiar with conferences at all, it is a good way to get your feet wet so to speak and to meet individuals that you would not necessary ever get to meet. Even if you may not work in a library, you have ideas and interests that are worth hearing and presenting. This is a good way to get your name out there and network.
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 mouspad!) 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!!
Recently, Erica Findley shared some ideas on how to get library experience when you have never worked in a library. I, too was worried about how I would get a library job without any library background.
I am here to tell you that volunteering is a great way to get seasoned in the library world! Since the beginning of this year I have been helping the Jackson Middle School library in SW Portland transition to a new cataloging system. My job is to find and import bibliographic records for books that don’t have one.
So how has working at the Jackson library helped me to be a better prospective librarian?
-Actually doing cataloging hands-one made my cataloging class (LI814, Organizing Information) a lot more immediate and understandable
-You get to make valuable professional contacts
-It’s a great way to help people! Jackson’s library does not have the funding to pay someone to do the
detailed work that I do
-It can broaden your professional portfolio
There are all kinds of volunteer opportunities out there! It’s really worth it to find one that
By Gordon Turner, SLIM-OR SCALA Vice-President