Libraries, the universe and everything


ICoASL 2017
May 22, 2017, 12:39
Filed under: CPD, Events, Reflections | Tags: , ,

Several months ago I was both surprised and delighted to receive an invitation to speak at the 5th International Conference of Asian Special Libraries, particularly when I saw the theme was to be “Curation and Management of Cultural Heritage through Libraries: Challenges and Opportunities for the Digital Society”. I was slightly more apprehensive when I realised that I was the only SLA Board member who was able to attend, so that I would be representing the association as well as presenting my own speech, but in my usual spirit of “say yes and worry about the consequences later”, I happily accepted and began planning the trip.

The conference was being held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, which made a splendid excuse for a holiday, as well as enabling a stopover in Singapore, one of my bucket list destinations. I’m going to write more about all of that over on my other blog, and I’ve also submitted a brief account of the conference to the SLA blog (links will be added when these go live), but I wanted to share a more personal record of the experience here.

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How to talk to vendors at conferences, even when you’re not planning to buy anything.
July 21, 2016, 11:56
Filed under: Reflections | Tags: , ,

When I started attending library conferences, one of my greatest misconceptions was that you had to be a content-buyer in order to talk to vendors in the expo. As a lowly team-member with no budget of my own, I didn’t see what I could possibly achieve from such interactions. Happily, I soon realised the error of my ways, and at my last conference I had a brilliant time talking to vendors. In terms of my position (and my purchasing power) nothing has actually changed, just my perspective. To remind myself of this, and in case this might be helpful to anyone else, I thought I would write about it whilst the experience was still reasonably fresh in my mind.

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#SLA2016 takeaways
July 18, 2016, 13:05
Filed under: CPD, Events, Reflections | Tags: , , ,

SLA 2016 was an excellent conference. My experience was a little different this year as I was wearing several different hats: an attendee, a chapter president and a board candidate. I’ll blog about the latter separately, but here I wanted to capture some of the things which resonated most strongly with me as an attendee (and, perhaps coincidentally, as a leader).

For a conference which didn’t have explicit themes or tracks, it was remarkable how the same points kept appearing in different contexts. The two which I encountered most frequently were ‘understanding yourself’ and ‘learning is leading’. Continue reading



#SLA2015
July 1, 2015, 16:54
Filed under: CPD | Tags: , ,

Friday June 12th saw me heading up to Boston on a Greyhound bus for SLA’s 2015 conference. After the conference in Vancouver last year I had a much better idea of what to expect, and it being on my ‘home’ coast meant that I knew a lot more people who were going to be there, so it was much less of an intimidating prospect, although I was probably just as excited to be there. Before it all began I spent a very pleasant afternoon exploring central Boston (having visited there previously I didn’t give myself much time for sight-seeing), followed by a lovely dinner with friends, and then jumped into the action rather earlier than I usually prefer to be up and about on a Saturday morning.  Continue reading



SLA NY Conference and Expo, September 18th 2014
November 7, 2014, 12:00
Filed under: CPD, Events, SLA NY | Tags:

Well over a month after the event, it is high time I blogged about the SLA NY Conference. Given the amount of my time and energy the planning and preparations for the event took up, and the fact that I moved apartments the week after, it has been rather nice to take a break from it all, but September 18th is rapidly receding into the distant past, and I wanted to capture a few thoughts before it got away entirely. Continue reading



My #SLA2014 schedule
July 15, 2014, 11:47
Filed under: Events | Tags: , ,
I don’t imagine this will be of tremendous interest to anyone other than myself, but I wanted to keep track of everything I attended at the conference and this seemed like the easiest way. I am blogging separately about some of the sessions in more detail (links below), but otherwise a few brief notes will suffice.

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Some impressions from #SLA2014
June 19, 2014, 22:17
Filed under: Events | Tags: , , ,

Even though it has been almost two weeks since SLA’s 2014 conference ended I’m still trying to process my thoughts about it all. In the hope that writing something down about it might help, here are the top 10 impressions I took away from Vancouver.

pixelated whale from Vancouver conference centre

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