This morning I went to CARL IT IG: ReBoot, ReFormat…. Though it was a small group and began at 8 in the morning, discussion was animated. Ian Chan, Chair of the IT IG talked about reactivating the IG after a number of years of inactivity. He talked about the CARL IT On Air sessions that he worked on with Danielle Kane where Google Hangouts and YouTube were used to present and record 30 minutes sessions on a variety of technology tools. The main topic of conversation, however, was how to get more involvement in the IT IG. To help the process along, Ian and Danielle put out a survey. Over sixty people responded. One of these lucky respondents won a gift card in a random drawing. The Steering Committee will be using the information from the survey to help frame their future efforts. Volunteers for the Steering Committee are needed. I can say from having watched two of the On Air sessions that they are well worth 30 minutes once a month. In addition, they are archived in YouTube so you can watch when you have time. The Steering Committee is tracking views of the content. Volunteers for presenting in On Air are also welcome. Thanks for sharing the survey results with us, Ian. It was very interesting to see the demographic information.
I also attended a session called IG: Sharing Library Innovations Northern California. The session was facilitated by two librarians from San Jose State University, Emily Chan and Christina Mune. This was designed as a unconference session and turned out to be very informative. Around 15 librarians attended, all from libraries in the North. Some of these librarians work solo, some are part of smaller or larger institutions, and all want to revive IG activity in the North, not just for programming, but also for collegial support. Our current IG Coordinator, Billy Pashaie was also in attendance. Emily and Christina led a brainstorming session on what the scope/content of these IGs might be. There was acknowledgement that North members are geographically dispersed and that the number of CARL members from the North is significantly less than that in the South. However, there was also a clear wish on everyone’s part to try to start meeting in person again. It looks like CARLDIG-North might be revived. It was great to meet with fellow librarians from the North, to hear the enthusiasm for trying to reestablish more IG activity in the region, and to see both new and long time librarians dedicated to the CARL community.
That brings me to a few final thoughts. It was great to be at CARL 2014. I always enjoy seeing old friends and meeting new people. Allie Carr, Conference Planner Extraordinaire and current President asked the Board members to think about what we valued most about the conference. The content was excellent, but it is still the personal and professional connections that are made that I value most. This goes beyond networking and collegial conversation, however. A phrase Michelle Van Hoeck described in her session on The Social Side of Research comes to mind — We are a “Community of Practice.” I hope everyone enjoyed the sessions, the conversations, and the food, drink and venue. Until next time.