Here are my final thoughts on ACRL for those that want to know (Sorry these are late, but does “chicken with its head cut off” hold any meaning to you?):
The theme for the conference seemed to be First Year Experience courses, serving Millennials, and Google – good or bad? The FYE courses are interesting as it seems that each institution has tweaked it for their students, staff, and circumstances. FYE has been growing among institutions and it will be interesting to watch this trend to see if it continues to be developed by universities and if the libraries continue to play a key role in its implementation or structure.
If there was one session that talked about Millennials, there were ten more down the hall. If I got a raise every time the word Millennials was mentioned at conference, I would be making almost as much as a corporate librarian, almost. The habits, needs, and expectations of Millennials is not a new subject, but we, as a profession, are still talking about how this will effect our services. This is both a good and a bad thing. Good, because we are talking about them and bad because we are still just talking in many cases. They are upon us. They are here already. Is your library serving Millennials’ needs or are you still discussing the need for USB ports and IM reference? We need to stop talking and start acting. I love my job, but I sometimes hate that we must flog an idea to death, literally, before anything is ever done and by then, the customer (that’s right, customer) has moved on and found someone or somewhere else to help them find information.
Of course the Google argument goes on. I really liked what Adam Smith had to say at his presentation. He is a great salesman and he looks like Hugh Grant (that never hurt anybody), but I was already feeling pretty good about the whole Google Print thing anyway. I know there are some technical issues to this project, but I think in the long run, it is a good thing. I am not threatened by this enterprise nor do I think that it spells the end of the printed word. I think those kind of very reactionary opinions fail to take in the big picture. (Just my pennies, people)
Last, but not least, the ACRL “blog”. I agree with some of the thoughts already voiced by some fellow bloggers regarding the nature of the ACRL blog. Is it really a blog if there are no permalinks or feeds available? I stand by my opinion stated earlier that what ACRL really wanted were roving reporters, not writers/bloggers. I would label this more of a discussion board interface in which the official bloggers were the only ones allowed to post. In fact, if you were a member of the Virtual Conference, the blogs were listed amongst the other discussion board topics. There was of course, the pervading feeling that I was (in one of my coworkers words) “blogging for The Man” so I felt compelled to behave and be less harsh than normal. Hey, I just call’em like I see’em.
It was a nice first experience at a national conference. I am looking forward to blogging for LITA at ALA Annual.
–Jane, ready for Chicago