OLA Super Conference 2014. Phew.

As I slowly dig myself out from under a pile of last week’s work (if you’re reading this, I probably owe you an email), I wanted to take a moment to say how much I enjoyed being a part of OLA’s 2014 Super Conference.

As an OLITA planner,  I am so genuinely grateful to everyone who submitted and spoke under the OLITA banner. I saw so few sessions, but I bothered a lot of people for feedback, and the responses were very positive. I must also give a deep and sustained bow to the OLA office, whose management and logistical support is truly, truly outstanding. 

As a presenter, I feel so lucky to have had the audience I (we) did! The first panel I was a part of, with Lisa Gayhart (Unviersity of Toronto) and Anika Ervin-Ward (OCUL), was about change communication in digital library services. The genesis of this talk was Lisa’s Code4Lib article, “Out from behind the firewall: Towards better library IT communication,” and I think the three of us did a fairly good job of articulating how this model played out in different contexts:

The second panel was a more familiar trio: myself, Rita Vine, and Ken Yang, who have been making the rounds to share the logistics and outcomes of the UTL Personal Librarian pilot (slides are in PDF here). I think this session hit a sweet spot: it was a good combination of big-picture whys and hows, but with plenty of detail about what actually worked, what didn’t, and where we’re going next. Being scheduled for 9 AM also helped a lot. Such a bright-eyed audience!

And, finally, I feel lucky to have been part of Super Conference as an attendee: it was wonderful to see so many of you! The friendliness of Super Conference is remarkable. As someone working at a provincial consortium, I feel a particular affinity with events that bring the whole of Ontario together. That we get speakers and attendees from outside the province is, of course, a bonus.

I was doing a lot of running around and saw fewer sessions than I aimed to, but I want to close by sharing the slides from Alan Harnum’s talk on computational thinking (here). When I saw the proposal for this session back in June, I thought: “oh YES!” I have been excited about it ever since. I shirked all duties to sneak in to the back of it, and it was as good as expected.

Planning for Super Conference 2015 is getting started! If you attended this year’s festivities, please take a minute to give us some feedback. If you have other kinds of feedback, suggestions, comments, questions, or rants about Super Conference, please get in touch (contact info under Details above).


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