BCLA 2014: A First

For the first time ever, I decided to attend BCLA (well as much as I could). While I don’t normally go to BCLA, there were a couple of sessions I really wanted to attend and I got a session accepted too!

I will say now that I only got to attend part of BCLA. Unfortunately, I had to work at least half the day each of the 2 full days, so I could only attend a few sessions. This post is therefore biased and a bit sparse compared to my usual conference “reports” (that and I’m writing this while on vacation).

Well-Curated Program

I’m not just saying this just because my session got in. If you look at the list of sessions this year, it’s much more varied with topics that will be of interest to a broader audience. A lot of that is due to the number of sessions that involve people from outside of the library community and the way the themes when the call was made (I think so anyway).

As I said, I didn’t attend a lot of the sessions, but the ones I did were very good.

Keynotes

Okay, so I didn’t attend all the keynotes, so actually it’s more just a comment on one. While I generally appreciate hearing speakers and keynotes in particular from outside of the library community, I expect some sort of connection back to libraries.

I really enjoyed the talk, but I didn’t see the relevance to libraries and the speaker made no attempt to connect what they were talking about back to libraries in any way. I wasn’t even sure what the point of the talk was other than “this is the work I do”. Well, great, but if I wanted to know just that wouldn’t I read a biography and/or criticism about your works?

I was just hoping for something more somehow I guess, but maybe I’ve been spoiled.

Presenting a Workshop

It was interesting pitching a half-presentation half-workshop style session. It was also the first time I’ve ever presented with someone. It worked well in part because we had no real script. We considered how long we might take and what we would say. (For me though, it meant I was less focused and succinct, so I took more time than expected.)

Dethe gave a great overview of Mozilla initiatives including focus on possibilities locally, and Webmaker. I did my best to impart why libraries should be involved, and how easy it can be.

It was great that we were the last session of the day, because some people were so into it, they stayed an extra 15 minutes or more!

I’m so thankful we could get some mentors into the room to help answer questions and walk people through the tools/projects.

Overall, I think it was a great success giving people a general overview and at least a general idea of how a Webmaker event can happen.

I wish I had taken pictures, but everyone was apparently so into it that no one remembered!

Conclusion

If BCLA’s program is at least as good as this year’s, I would definitely consider attending again.

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Cynthia

A librarian learning the ways of technology, accessibility, metadata, and people

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