Practicality

Later this week I’ll be attending the Massachusetts Library Association Conference in Falmouth (nasty drive, but a nice location).  Last year the conference was one of the highlights of the year for me.  This year I’m not nearly as excited, with the exception of getting to hear David Weinberger.

I think my biggest critique of these sorts of conferences, is that they are too focused on hypothetical situations (mainly, what if we all had enough money to do what we’d like).  This conference is supposed to attract just as many (if not more) public librarians as it does academic ones.  Yet there are barely any panels that would be all that useful to the smaller libraries that comprise most of the state.

Fortunately the brilliant Jessamyn West (fresh from ROFLcon apparently) has put together a lovely slide show on how small libraries can use technology sensibly.  It’s well worth a look (plus it includes lolcats).  I like to focus on new tech and new toys as much as the next librarian (I haven’t gotten tired of talking about my laptop yet) but the fact remains that when I’m at work I still have a few workstations kept together with duct tape and hope.  Sadly we need to spend as much time revisiting the old as we do discussing the new.

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