I also went to the Librarians as Researchers and First Time Presenters panel. As I’m not a university Librarian, I got a lot more out of the discussions on first time presenting. Anyway, some points:
- Collaborate: find someone else to work with, and don’t think that they need to be in your own library, or even your type of library.
- Practice: present at your industry seminar or meeting first; conference can be later (find an encouraging audience!)
- Have different mentors for different things; find a mentor specifically for getting published. Also talk to editors, make sure you’ve got what the publishers want.
In the Creativity panel I didn’t actually take any notes at all. We brainstormed ideas about being creative in libraries – Gold Coast Library system seems to be doing some really interesting programs – about what creativity means, and why it’s important. It was an interesting session, but I’d started to flag. In hindsight I should maybe have tried another session; if nothing else walking over to the other room might have woken me up a bit.
All in all – I know I said something about this the other day – I found the day really worthwhile. Unconferences depend far more visibly on the passion and the interest of the people at them then a regular conference, even if I remember the one-on-one interactions better, and find them easier to pay attention to. I’d been thinking about presenting something, or offering to at least, but in the event I wussed out. Next time! Next time, I think, I will put something together earlier and have something more solid that could be the beginning of a panel, if it’s voted in, or a lightening talk, if not. The lightening talks were really good examples this time: things that people had done, how they did them, and how you could too: for example, getting Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman to perform in the City Library, or winning a fellowship from the State Library. “how I migrated a small school library to open source software” could have been one of these talks, if I had been a little more prepared.
Also, I want cool business cards for next time!