Monday, November 12, 2012

NYLA Conference! What I learned

So this weekend, for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, I went to the New York Library Association conference. My Twitter following exploded, I met a whole lot of cool people, saw a lot of awesome stuff, and hopefully did some serious networking. Also, the food was amazing, and there was free coffee, and lots of free books. It was my kind of place. I took away quite a bit from the conference as well. Here's what I learned from the presenters, the booths, and the programs:
  • Know what your community needs. If they're not telling you, you have to ask them. 
  • Don't neglect the so-called "special interest" groups. 
  • Some people, for various reasons, may be afraid to go to the library. Find out what you can do to alleviate that fear. 
  • If you read from your Powerpoint, you've already lost your audience. Similarly, make sure your voice is clear, audible, and has varying tones. 
  • Apps are a powerful tool, but make sure the ones you're using teach what you're trying to teach. Don't get caught up in the novelty of... well, novelty, and assume that using apps alone will make you more relevant.
  • Improvisation is necessary for growth. Creative problem solving and thinking on your feet can mean the difference between project implementation and shelving.
  • Don't be afraid to fail. Failure isn't a bad thing, it's a learning tool. 
  • Print is not dead. Just... no, it isn't. There are ways to resuscitate it if you look. 
  • The hardware of tablets is not what we're about now. What we sell when we sell tablets is the services they offer. 
  • Prepare your examples ahead of time, or make a video tutorial to demonstrate it instead of using it live. Know for sure that your programs and examples will do what they're supposed to in order to avoid looking foolish. 
  • Unglueit is a fabulous idea and a wonderful way to get content out to the public. 
  • SLOs are important, especially for elementary-aged students.
  • You don't have to be an educator to make use of the AASL standards, CCLS, SLOs, IEPs, APPRs, BBQs, and all sorts of other acronyms. 
  • Mobile websites are difficult to design and implement, but will boost the usefulness of your current website. 
  • Mobile websites need to be tested and trouble-shot on a number of different devices before they can be implemented, because all tablets, iDevices, and smartphones are not created equal. 
Of course, these are all filtered through the lens of my brain. Take what you want, or don't, and 

Cool people to follow on Twitter who I met at NYLA: 
  • Rebecca Stead (@rebstead), author
  • Eric Hellman (@gluejar), entrepreneur 
  • Polly-Alida Farrington, (@pollyalida), technoshaman
  • Unglueit (@unglueit), the aforementioned Creative Commons making program
  • Jenica Rogers (@jenica26), Rockstar Librarian and tech geek
  • Sue Kowalski (@spkowalski), Middle School Librarian 
  • David Weinberger (@dweinberger), author of the Cluetrain Manifesto
  • Toph Lawton (@HieAnon), presenter, TA, and Rockstar Librarian in training
...and of course, me, @IllyriasAcolyte. I do use Twitter, I swear. Watch me tweet. Well, as soon as I finish NaNoWriMo. 

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