This past Friday and Saturday was the annual Library 2.013 Virtual Conference (http://www.library20.com) and I was lucky enough to attend sessions on both days. This marked the third year I have participated in this conference, and once again I was impressed.
The idea of library leaders from all over the world sharing sessions via an online platform for several days straight may sound a bit wonky, but in fact, it is a wonderful way for library staff from all over the globe to have access to some of the biggest name library leaders without having to shell out mega bucks to travel and attend a live conference. With the variety of sessions available at times around the clock, librarians had the opportunity to attend a live session no matter what their schedules were like, if they wished. Sessions were also recorded.
With my new position I was most interested in the sessions which dealt with academic libraries supporting STEM. On Friday I attended “Tour” of Liaison Services and Challenges for STEM Outreach by Lea Leininger, Health Sciences Librarian at University University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a few of her colleagues. It was a terrific session. I had the opportunity to ask questions and get answers via the chat window and walked away with ideas that I could immediately implement in my job.
I attended Michael Stephens (and even re-arranged my Saturday to get back home and ready before the session started) the next day. His keynote, Learning Everywhere: Transformative Power of Hyperlinked Libraries, was very inspiring and I’m glad I attended live. The chat was active and fun to participate in.
Those were my two favorite sessions. I attended a couple of others that had some technical difficulties. At one session I am not sure the presenter understood how to use her microphone. The other session that wasn’t so much fun included a series of videos which were difficult to access via the iPad I was viewing the presentation on. I kept having to log back into the session and I finally just gave up.
Was the virtual experience perfect? Of course not. Did I gain useful information that I can apply to my work as a result of attending these session — absolutely. I hope this conference continues. This year badges were awarded to participants who watched the keynotes. I would love it if they offered this opportunity for all sessions in the future, not just the keynotes.