I can’t believe it’s almost a week since I went to the Library Show 2009 (which I kept referring to as the LIS Show but apparently it has changed its name).
I spent the morning looking around the stalls at the show, and chatted to quite a few of the exhibitors who took my details with the fancy zappers. I seemed to be a magnet to all brochures and fliers (I do tend to have a habit of collecting material at every conference I attend!), and struggled to carry everything by lunchtime!
The free seminar programme was good so I decided to take advantage and attended Phil Bradley‘s session on Twitter, and Mike Gayle‘s author session. Although Phil’s session was mainly aimed at those unfamiliar with Twitter, I thought it would be useful to attend anyway and unsurprisingly I learnt a lot – mainly regarding the different search options which Phil knows inside out. I also found out about how a few libraries are using Twitter and it was great to see such good examples of Twitter being used by different types of libraries. Phil gave a very honest presentation and pointed out the downfalls and criticisms of Twitter as well as talking about its good points. Overall, he seems to have a very similar view to myself in that Twitter is an excellent tool for professional networking, and can be a useful resource for both individuals and organisations with minimum time/resources invested. I imagine many people were inspired to join Twitter after Phil’s session – and hopefully the message reached plenty as the seminar room was so full some people were turned away! I also managed to get the opportunity to chat with Phil after the session and it was great to finally meet face to face. Phil’s slides:
Having recently read the excellent The To-Do List, I was pleased to see that Mike Gayle was one of the authors attending the show. His author session was really interesting, he talked about his journey to becoming an author (including being an agony uncle at Bliss! magazine which I read as a teenager), and discussed his approach to writing. I really enjoyed the To Do List, which is a non-fiction book written about Mike’s year long mission to accomplish a 1277 item long list. It covers things such as sorting out dormant bank accounts, fixing things around the house, and seeing friends you’ve lost touch with. It’s written in a very humorous way and as a home owner who lives her life by writing lists, I could relate to a lot of the book. I hadn’t read any of his fiction so I bought a copy of his latest book, Life and Soul of the Party, whilst I was at the show (and queued to get it signed!). His books are very easy to read, yet thought provoking books about friends and relationships. I read the Life and Soul of the Party in two days during my journey to work (I get three buses each way!), and found myself really relating to the characters and experiencing moments of wanting to laugh out loud or cry at emotional points (but resisted in both cases hoping to avoid odd looks from others on the bus!).
In the afternoon, I helped out on the CILIP West Midlands stand at the show, which was very interesting. Although I am a CILIP member, I haven’t been involved much in CILIP in the past, and hoped to learn something as well as help our region out by staffing the stand. I certainly learnt a lot about the structure of CILIP and how the organisation works (although it sounded very complex and didn’t follow all of it!), and also learnt a little more about some of the special groups. The more I learn about the groups in CILIP, the more impressed I am by the community – there are so many groups out there organising some great events and publishing some really good newsletters and journals. It was good to meet visitors to the stand – there was a mix of CILIP members and non-CILIP members, as well as many who have recently joined CILIP. It was particularly good to be able to speak to those based in the West Midlands region and talk about the work going on in the region and how to keep up-to-date via online networks such as the CILIP West Midlands blog, Facebook group and Twitter account. David Viner and Katharine Widdows have been working really hard to improve the communication in the region and it’s certainly appreciated by myself, as well as many others I spoke to on the day. I was glad to be able to spend a bit of time helping my local branch and hope to be able to help out further in future.
I was a really good event, and I particularly enjoyed being able to meet many people who I had previously only known via Twitter.
I’m just finishing packing (by writing another of my numerous lists!) for the CoFHE Conference 2009 in Edinburgh which starts tomorrow. There’s already quite a few attendees I’ve found on Twitter, and if you are interested in following Tweets from the event the hashtag is #cofhe09. I’m also hoping to see some of the sights in Edinburgh after the conference and meet another fellow twitterer who lives in the area. 🙂