Robyn Ward shares her OLA/WLA conference experience

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.

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!!

Sign up to volunteer at the OLA/WLA Joint conference!

OK – as most of you know, SLIM-OR SCALA will be staffing the registration desk registration for the conference. Please take a look below and see if there’s some time you can help out. Thanks!To sign up for one of the open slots, just leave a message in the comments. We’ll update the post and add your name in. If all the slots are full during the times you can help, let us know – we may be able to find something else you can help with.


OLA/WLA Joint Conference April 16-18, 2008

Hilton Vancouver Hotel in Vancouver, WAMore information on the conference: http://www.wla.org/olawla2008/


3/21/08 – THE VOLUNTEER SIGN UP IS NOW CLOSED. Please send an e-mail to ejohnso3 [at] emporia [dot] edu if you have any questions or changes to your schedules.  We will be following up with you on 3/21/08 via e-mail to confirm the times you have signed up for.