OLA – O – Ramma: Friday February 2

Super Conference ID

After getting a good night’s sleep I was ready for another day of extreme library fun at the 2007 OLA Super Conference.

Session 1104
Some might think that 9am is a little early in the morning for talking about statistical literacy but this was an informative session, if for nothing else, that it reminded me how much I am guilty of simply accepting at face value the statistical information I come across in my own life. I did have some flashbacks to my own harrowing moments in math class when they started quizzing us on percentages and absolute numbers.

They made the point that statistical literacy is years behind traditional reading and writing literacy and my own experience at the reference desk would definitely bare that out.

Session 1200
Civic guru Glen Murray spoke about his views on municipal development. Just like several other speakers he was quick to tell the group that librarians are they key to the future of civilisation. Well, maybe I’m embellishing a bit, but flattery goes a long way with this crowd.

Session 1318
While what I learned in this session could be considered part of my professional development, I will admit it was more for Library Playground. This session was about creating library blogs using WordPress and was presented by Greg Sennema from Wilfred Laurier.

After having been on my own trying to learn about WordPress it was good to see some of the questions I had clearly explained. It was very interesting to learn that Laurier took an existing blog theme and tweaked it so it looked identical to the rest of the Laurier Library web page. If I wasn’t told this I would have thought they coded the blog from scratch. This gives me a sense of what is possible with a little bit of coding knowledge.

Session 1411
My day ended with a talk from one of the leading lights of the 2.0/Social/Second Life/First-person shooter/chewy-nougat library movement.

Michael Stephens of Tame the Web fame gave his Best Practices for Social Software presentation. He is a very engaging speaker, and while I must admit some skepticism about the time and effort some schools are putting in to efforts like creating Second Life presences, he mentioned several points of interest to me.

A key one was the creation of Wiki’s for library staff. In my case I have created several policy and procedure manuals in Word documents. Often these documents need to be changed, adjusted etc. which is a hassle using a word processor. Also, there is occasional confusion aboutour various reference and circulation policies. Having these accessible in Wiki form would be more seamless than shuffling though various binders.

Final Notes

  • I was going to attend the OLITA annual meeting but after two days of wandering the convention centre I was beat.
  • Maybe I wasn’t looking hard enough but it seems like there were viewer vendors on the exhibition floor handing out free pens.
  • I was a little disappointed there were no presentations on the topic of copyright, considering what a major topic it has been for Canadian technology watchers this year, but I am sure Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing mentioned it in his talk on Wednesday.
  • Ditto for a lack of presentations on the topic of screencasting software and techniques.
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