Today is my last day at the conference and so far it has been a pretty spectacular day. I started out at breakfast, sitting by myself when a womyn walked up to me and asked if she could join me, totally like junior high. I had seen this womyn earlier at the conference and thought I should approach her, but was intimidated as she reminded me of Monica Meyer. However, this was Lia Friedman an art librarian at UC San Diego and mover and shaker at Radical Reference an on line reference source for independent journalists and political activists. OMG!!!! Radical Reference actually provides volunteer street librarians for protests…omg…RNC…that is totally my thing!!!! I was so worried I wouldn’t be able to participate in the RNC, and I totally found an avenue!!!!!! Lia and I exchanged cards and, yeah, totally excellent connection.
After speaking with Lia, and even before, I feel really excited and passionate about librarianship, all facets. I hope to keep this fire burning, but how? Continuing ed? Participation in organizations? The Revolution!
The first session of the day I attended was Libraries and Web 2.0. Wow, what a panel, Stephen Abram, a womyn from OCLC, a womyn from LC, and a man from Creative Commons. Brilliant! Later I heard how someone thought it was a little inappropriate to have only “vendors” on the panel, but I was able to look past that and hear some really great things. We need to “unfetter information”; harvesting labels w/out user behaviors does not work; and the phrase, ” compulsive anal retentive cataloging.”
After the session, Anne and I had lunch with 2 Canadians and an ex-patriot. From this I picked up that Canadians have an invested interest in U.S. politics (unlike the U.S. who doesn’t seem to care about anyone else) and Canadians are very aware of the two major U.S. candidates. This makes complete sense then that Mucha and I kept seeing Barak Obama t-shirts all over Montreal. I love the Canadians. I also learned that Canadian librarians have had funding issues for much longer than the U.S.. Some U.S. libraries are actually working with Canadian Libraries and how to handle situations. Collaboration all over the place.
The final session I attended was Metropolitan Libraries with Public Libraries. There was a talk on the Canadian Project “Working Together” and also the Sengkong library system in Singapore. The Canadian project focused on making services relevant and visible for socially excluded populations. What do socially excluded people want and need from the library, the library needs to be an advocate for all. In Singapore, advocacy is a way of life. Instead of continually asking the user to come to the library, bring the library to the user. Get out in the community, get out from behind the desk.
This has been an amazing opportunity, and I look forward to implementing and practicing these new ideas that I have gathered from librarians around the world. Yeah, this was definitely a good thing. I have some really great ideas that I would love to share and work on.