Thursday, April 05, 2007

ACRL 2007 Wrap-Up

I've been super busy this week so haven't had a chance until now to post more about ACRL 2007. It's probably old news by now, but here goes. Probably the best session I went to was a discussion of how the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign reconfigured their undergraduate library to meet the needs of millenial students. They didn't spend a lot of (or really any) time talking about the demographics of millenials so they were able to go into more detail about what they're doing at their library. They did a lot with the physical space and with things like gaming collections (complete with consoles).They showed a promotion video they made about the library too. Very cool. The video was pretty new and I couldn't find it online, but I'm sure it'll make the rounds at some point.

During the Q&A one person asked how they handle providing services to older students. Fortunately UIUC has about 40 libraries on their campus so they can afford to take one space and direct it pretty much solely to the traditional 18-23 year old undergrad demographic. But this is a big issue for those of us who work with more varied student bodies and have few physicial resources to work with. In my library we have to try to appeal to everyone from 18 year olds to 70 year olds, and all the different learning styles and needs in each group. In 6,000 square feet. But I did get some good ideas from the session about trying to make small changes in our space and for the glorious day when we have more. Great job.

I purposefully didn't go to any social software/ web 2.0 related sessions. But I did notice a big surge of librarian related Facebook activity after coming back. New librarians groups on topics like first year experience have popped up and I have more librarian friends now. So some session or sessions on social networking must have been very inspiring!

Cyber Zed Shed Audience My Cyber Zed Shed quickie talk about what we're doing with podcasting went OK. I thought my similiar Internet Librarian talk was better but hopefully folks got something out of this one too. The folks from Palinet recorded interviews with all of the speakers from the Cyber Shed and those should be available soon through the Palinet podcast site.

Other reflections: Poster sessions were crowded as usual. But most of the ones I looked at were really good and informative. Nina Totenberg was scattered and seemed somewhat distracted. The conference reception at the National Aquarium was fun. Sharks are scary. ACRL staff folks are nice. A decent bar across from a conference center is a plus.

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