2011 in conferences

I basically took 2010 off from professional travel and speaking, and the break was smart.  I did a lot of work here and focused as best I could on local needs.  2011 is shaping up differently. No one with half a brain tries to travel out of northern New York during winter — it’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just that the not-Canadian airport and train station are on the other side of a snow belt and a mountain range — so I’m in Potsdam until the weather breaks a bit.  So far, this is what my year looks like.

March 20-22: Computers in Libraries.  I’m lobby-con-ing this one, and attaching it to a personal vacation to see my college roommates in DC and VA. It’s a great conference, though, full of interesting presenters and good ideas.  Which, clearly, is why I’m lobby-con-ing.  No point in sitting in the lobby and talking to people if the people aren’t worth talking to.  I’m even more excited that the lobby in question will be in DuPont again, instead of Crystal City.  My dining experiences just went up 200-fold in quality.

March 29 to April 2: ACRL in Philadelphia, PA.  I committed to myself that I would go to a conference this year that was entirely about Jenica Learning Things.  ACRL seemed like the best venue for the director of an academic library to do that; we’ll see how it goes.  I haven’t been to an ACRL since it was in Minneapolis, which I think was six or eight years ago.  I’m not presenting, I’m not going specifically to network, I’m just going to the conference.

April 13-15: SUNY Council of Library Directors spring meeting at the Otesaga in Cooperstown, NY.  An invaluable chance to connect with my colleagues and peers in SUNY.  We need each other, and there’s nothing quite as important as chatting over dinner to make it easier to lean on each other and learn from each other when we need to.  Plus the business of our meetings, which also matters a great deal, particularly in this challenging time for New York and SUNY.

June 15-17: SUNY Librarians Association Annual Conference, Plattsburgh, NY.  C’mon back up to the North Country, SUNY librarians.  You know you love us (in the summer).  I am certain this will be another wonderful conference that highlights the accomplishments and creativity of SUNY librarians, and which will only be made better by Plattsburgh’s location between Lake Champlain and the Adirondacks. Given that the conference theme is “Shared Borders”, I encourage any of the librarians in Montreal to make the trip down, as well — an affordable and friendly conference, right across the border!

June 23-28: ALA Annual, New Orleans.  My first ALA.  I’m pretty sure it’s way too many librarians in one place to suit me, but c’mon, it’s New Orleans, and Griffey promises to show me all his favorite parts of the city.

On the business side of things, Mary Carmen Chimato, Colleen Harris, and I will be leading a LLAMA pre-conference workshop, “The Tough Stuff: Leadership, Change, & Performance Management for Library Managers.”.  Our abstract: “Library managers are rarely prepared for the more difficult aspects of their positions.  Three library managers, at three different levels of management, will discuss their experiences with leadership, managing change and handling performance issues.  Participants will be involved in discussion and activities to identify the characteristics of leadership and discuss tools to develop and nurture those skills and personality traits in themselves and their staff.  The presenters will also facilitate honest, frank and constructive discussion of the difficult and “not at all fun” side of management.”

I will also be speaking as part of the President’s Program panel discussion for NMRT, “Seizing Opportunities to Serve: Professional Involvement, Local to National”, focusing on my work with the aforementioned SUNYLA.

And, finally…

30 October – 2 November: LIANZA Conference 2011 in Wellington, New Zealand.  I am extremely flattered to be asked to be a keynote speaker at this conference, and completely flummoxed as to what to talk about. (So flummoxed that I tried to crowdsource it on FriendFeed, which got some good idea fodder for me to think about.) They need abstracts by the end of March, so I’ve got a bit of time to think and refine my ideas.  The conference theme is “Passion, People, and Power: Te Ihi, Te Wehi, Te Wana”, and I am certain I can speak to that idea. I just feel like they deserve something new, not a recycling of my online identity piece, but I’m just not sure what that is yet.  I also have to pick travel dates and decide how much of a vacation I can afford, because I’ll be damned if I’m going halfway around the world and not staying for some sightseeing.  I am not a fool.  🙂

So that’s my year in travel.  If you’re at any of those conferences, feel free to find me and say hello, and if you choose to come hear me talk, I will try not to disappoint.

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