Thursday, June 07, 2007

SLA 2007 - Wrapup

SLA 2007 has come and gone, and I am certainly the better for it. I just wanted to take a moment and review my total experience here in Denver.

Technical skills:
I am now more than proficient with wikis and podcasts. Not only to I know a fair amount about setting them up, but I also have ideas on what kind of content to use with them. I'm more confident with my abilities, both at the IT level, and the CS level. Once again, everyone I talk to about my dual degrees says I'm going to have my pick of jobs.

I've picked up some new hints on great tools to use in the next year. Google Custom Search Engine will get used as soon as I'm back at work for the GSLIS. Until I can get MediaWiki installed on my server, Sarah and I might use PBwiki for planning our wedding. The screen-to-flash tutorial creator Wink I think might already be handy for a colleague, and I hope for me soon, as well. Just talking to folks, I got turned on to a Firefox extention that lets me to browser screen captures quickly and easily. And, I can't forget all the wonderful Web 2.0 search tools presented by Mary Ellen Bates.

I've always cared about the environment, but Al Gore's speech was that much more energizing to really do something about it. The free pedometer's from Thompson and the Social Science Division added that much more encouragement to use my own leg power to get around.

I'm also more caught up on the latest issues surrounding copyright and collaboration. I have a better idea what I need to do when I do any kind of digitization. I'm also more educated on Creative Commons, and how to utilize it for better information dissemination.

I have met so many wonderful people here, I doubt I could list them all even if I had my stack of recieved business cards in front of me. I can group them into several large groups, and thank them that way for their contribution to my conference experience.
  • Rhode Island chapter (namely Bill Anger and Jane Loescher)
  • Boston chapter (particularly Dave Ware, who has been phenomenal to me this whole conference)
  • Kentucky chapter (Leoma, James, Stacey, Alex, Valerie, Liz, and all the rest. They were incredibly nice to me, and let me crash their dinner and drinks time last night)
  • IT Division (which has quite the overlap with the above mentioned chapters)
  • The SLA Bloggers (you're all going into my reader!)
  • The vendors and instructors from all the myriad companies who sponsored SLA 2007
  • All the wonderful folks I've met in classes, at parties and in passing.
Please don't feel left out if I didn't mention you specifically, since I'm kind of pressed for time here in this coffee shop, and don't have all my info in front of me.

Division Service:
Hanging out with the IT division has led me to fall into the position of possibly being Chair Elect of something this coming year. Since this is one of the things I mentioned specifically in my stipend-winning essay that I'd like to do, I feel that much more successful about my journey out here.

What I'll do differently in Seattle:
  • Bring business cards. I should actually have an official affiliation by then, so this should be easy enough to do.
  • Not be moving the same week as the conference. This is stressful for everyone.
  • Bring a PDA or smaller laptop. This old Inspiron is a shoulder-killer.
  • Sign up as an SLA Blogger. Official access to the press room would be really nice.
  • Plan more relax time. I ran my self pretty ragged this conference, and while I got a lot out of doing it, I think I'd prefer to take some more evenings off (at least partially) next time.
  • Attend with Sarah! I'm really hoping she'll decide SLA is right for her, and that she'll be able to get away for the conference dates. Her presence would make the conference truly perfect.

Well, time to wrap this up, and start moving towards the airport.

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