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16 Apr 2008 / Julie

CIL2008: the Rundown

The week before last I had the privilege of going to Computers in Libraries for the second year in a row. It’s a whirlwind conference at only 3 days long and there’s a lot to pack in. I have no idea why i didn’t decide to present this time around but it’s on my list to do for next year. Here’s the über-packed rundown of what i did this year. For a shorter version of highlights, check out the ‘lights post.

Sunday, April 6th

6:30pm Arrive at the Hyatt, check in, dump bags in room and join folks at the Gaming and Gadgets Petting Zoo until 8ish.
Here’s a pic of me waiting for DDRattempting DDRfailing at DDR. (What is DDR?)

8pmish Dinner at the hotel bar with friend and roommate Beth Cackowski, Project Coordinator for QandANJ.
We end up meeting Will Kurt (LibBling), Greg Schwartz (Uncontrolled Vocabulary) and Chadwick Seagraves. Amy Kearns of the Central Jersey Regional Lib Coop joined us later on as well. When she came up to Beth and was introduced to me it was a “You’re Julie Strange!” moment; very starlet, very surreal. It’s very surreal to me when my online life converges with my f2f life (I follow Chadwick and Amy on twitter but had never officially met them in person until that night). It’s also very fun to have celebrity-like moments. Last year at CIL i was talking to Tim Spalding of Library Thing when he saw my blogger ribbon on my badge and asked what my blog was. “Strange Librarian? Oh! You’re on my rss feed!” Wow. So I don’t create in a bubble? Good to know. ;-)

Monday, April 7th

9am Opening Keynote with Lee Rainie.
Perhaps I set the bar too high, but I was expecting more MBM’s (Mind Blowing Moments). He talked about a few things that were new to me, but overall, I probably could have slept in.

10.30am Hi Tech, Hi Touch with Jenny Levine, The Shifted Librarian.

  • Read Clay Shirky‘s Here Comes Everybody.
  • Try Slideshare for tutorials
  • High/Low Tech is subjective- we should always strive for high TOUCH
  • don’t connect people w/ items, connect people with other people!
  • Social Networks = Soylent Green (It’s people! haha)

11.30am Digital Convergance & People Apps with Beth Gallaway

  • why use widgets? because there’s nothing wrong with being lazy. why make people go to 30 different places for the information they need? with widgets/apps customers can customize individual portals that brings all their stuff together in one place. why make someone, who’s stuck with a question in your catalog, go to another page to find contact information to ask you a question? Just embed a chat widget and voila!
    • for a non-cil related opinion of mine on facebook (one portal-like area) check out my interview on my friend’s blog

Lunch break at Top Thai w/ Beth, our new friend Will, my friend Luke (of Catholic University, who i met at last year’s CIL), his coworker Jonathan, my friend Alex of American University and his friend Kyri.

1.30pm Mobile Trends w/ Megan Fox

  • in google, use “” to limit to sites on the mobi (mobile) domain
  • use from your mobile device to transcode regular websites to a mobile-enabled version
  • is mobile!!!
  • mobile content is different than regular content. when you’re on the go, you need geo-contextual, ready reference information!
  • gonna have to get me one of these digital pens. (maybe this too.)

3pmish Found Alex in lobby and met Jonathan, who designed American University Library’s awesome IM marketing campaign. (These posters are so awesome they even walked out of my cube!)

4.15pm Library Staff Training w/ Donovan Deakin and Rebecca Ranallo Kahl

  • If it’s a challange to get people together, online training might be for you.
  • Online training might work if you need to build awareness, knowledge, or assess skill
  • Budgets and time available for training remain static but the need for training is growing; online training may help you
  • ROI for training: imporoved morale and job satisfaction, higher job performance ratings, improved library services, and attendance at trainings (learning breeds learning)
  • Your training design needs to fit into existing schedules. Try 15 minute modules; mini trainings
  • Blended learning; give people options for synchronous, asynchronous learning. give ppl the chance to return to information for refreshing- leave tutorials and infosheets available online. Learning isn’t a one time thing.
  • give staff time to PRACTICE and PLAY.
  • make things more interactive
  • let the staff help with creating the training
  • create an interactive conversation space for your community where staff can guide / manage the conversations.
  • barriers include buyin, bandwidth, unions, fear of technology, and (one of my pet peeves) complacency.

Exhibitors Reception w/ Alex, Luke, Jonathan, and Nicholas. Dinner afterwards at Jaleo w/ Alex, Beth, and Luke. On the way back to the hotel from Jaleo, Luke, Beth and I ran into Chadwick, Anna, Rikhei, Andy, Will, and Keith and I joined them on a journey to Brickskeller to meet up with Steven Cohen, David Free, Jambina, Krista, Amanda Etches-Johnson, Cindi Trainor, Tombrarian, Griffey, Jenica, and HollySue. My camera died a few weeks back so I only have this and this proof of my being there.

Tuesday, April 8th

9am Managed to make it to the keynote w/ the Dutch Boys. Their videos are fun and inspiring. We need inspiration. We need to tell the customers stories and tell the customer’s stories. The universe if made of stories, not atoms.

  • Matt Gullett from Charlotte and Mecklenburg Counties-> Books aren’t dead- the information needed determines the container (book, film, website, etc)
  • the most important collection at the library are people. We’re about community, not just books. Libraries are the spaces for the creation of the next gen’s products.
  • keep stories. tell stories. make stories.

10.30am Innovation Starts with “I” w/ Helene Blowers and Tony Tallent

  • have a DEAL day = Drop Everything And Learn
  • Innovation is about Action
  • Look at FRESH Practices, not Best Practices
  • I am an innovator- I have ideas. I’ve done my homework. I’ll do the initial legwork. I am capable of more than my job description. I will take risks WITH you…
  • the thing you shine light on creates more light
  • agree on what innovation means to you and your organization. know your ingredients and blend well.
  • change agent- how are you able to convince your folks to move forward and change?
  • tie your ideas to the mission and values of the organization. Tell a story- how is what you are going to do going to change peoples lives (for the better)?
  • get 15 minutes w/ decision makers and sell your idea personally. Make it personal to the person you’re selling it to
  • don’t ask for permission. ask for support.
  • “wild success doesn’t feel like business as usual. It may feel like panic.” Wild success is also about failure.
  • Not enough failures is not being inovative enough

11.30am Libraries A-Twitter w/ Michael Sauers, Christa Burns & Using w/ Folks from UCF

Lunch break w/ Alex, Luke, Will, Amy (AskUsNow! liaison for Frederick County) and her friend Ingrid @ Cafe Pizzaiolo (really yummy pizza). Wondering about using wikis for AskUsNow! resource list instead of static page… Can we use wikis for those there-are-30-people-with-the-same-question-in-queue-why-am-i-reinventing-the-wheel resources? Should we be utilizing the knowledge base for that?

2.30 Harnessing New Data Visualization Tools w/ Darlene Fichter [had to miss Virtual Reference: Endless Possibilities w/ Dan Sich and Derik Badman for this]

4pm 2.0 Pecha Kucha- Conversation Face-off (check out whole video here, thanks to Michael Sauers) w/ Amanda Etches-Johnson (her slides here), Greg Schwartz (his screencast here), Meredith Farkas (her slides here), David Free, Aaron Schmidt, and Greg Notess.

  • Pecha Kucha (P’cha K’cha, Hootchie Cootchie, or Pikachu) was, hands down, the best presentation the whole CIL. The presenters were amazing and the format is fantastic. Pecha Kucha is a great way to keep people interested, engaged, and forces the presenter to stick to their point. Check out Pecha Kucha for more information

Dinner was back to the pizza place (yes, it was that good. and CHEAP!) w/ Beth, Will, and Luke. There I played Connect Four for the first time! Beginners luck was on my side that night.

7.30 Luke, Will, and I joined Beth at the InfoTubey Awards. Beth was there to accept an InfoTubey (which is NOT plastic) on behalf of QandANJ who won for their most AWESOME video. Check out the video here (and keep an eye out for their funding statement at the end, very cool!) After that, it was drinks at the hotel bar. After which, I joined Steven, Iris (who has the awesomeist business cards ever), Jambina, Krista, Tombrarian, Christa, and Michael Sauers for a bit longer before heading to bed.

Wednesday, April 9th

10.30am Speed Searching w/ David Notess

  • find (& use) unique terms > “Educational attainment” instead of “highest level of schooling”
    • use the industry’s jargon
  • use multiple databases because its fun, you’re a librarian, lack of overlap between data sources

11amish Dug my car out of valet so i could dump my bags in and check out of room

11.30 Innovative Marketing Using 2.0 Tools w/ Helene Blowers, and Michael Porter

Lunch was free in the Exhibit hall. I ate w/Beth, Will, Luke, and Nicholas.

After lunch I had planned on going to Open Source Solutions to Offer Superior Service to support Maryland’s own Amy De Groff of Howard County but I was severely suffering from Conference Fatigue and I was honestly worried about driving home had i left any later so i said my goodbyes and headed out.

I did hear that during the Open Source Solutions session when asked how Howard County went completely Open Source, Amy answered, “We just did!” Apparently that answer didn’t seem like enough for many folks but in a world where we spend too much time committeeing, debating, and discussing, KUDOS to Amy and Howard County for JUST DOING!

Check out everyone’s posts and pictures tagged CIL2008.

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