We have a spooooky weekend coming up, everyone. Am I talking about Daylight Savings Time ending? Well…yes, but mostly Halloween, that most sugar-infested of holidays. I considered handing out mini hotel soaps this year, but the retribution from neighborhood kids could get ugly. Is anyone dressing up in costumes at your library? Are you doing any fun programming? Throwing out gallons of moldy candy corn? That last one is a joke; we all know candy corn never, ever grows mold.
Just as we recover from sugar overload, it’s almost time for the Charleston Conference! I know I’m excited to attend my sixth consecutive conference. Other conferences come and go, but Charleston is a must every year. As I’ve been cobbling my schedule together over the past couple of weeks (so many tempting sessions at the same time!), I’ve been thinking about how the major themes of the conference have almost unperceptively shifted since my first attendance in 2010. Back then I worked for a vendor and my conference experience was somewhat different. I had a LOT of meetings and wasn’t able to attend as many sessions. I didn’t know many people and I was able to walk through the crowded lobby of the Francis Marion without seeing many familiar faces. But I do remember that the tenor of the sessions had a slightly different focus than what we’re seeing this year.
For example, 2010 was a banner year for UDA/PDA/DDA. It was seen as the future of collection development and we were still unsure of whether or not it was here to stay or just a flash in the pan. It seemed like every other session involved some aspect of DDA. You’ll see fewer sessions on DDA offered this year, presumably because it has indeed become a proven method of collection building and one that many libraries have been running successfully for enough years to have lost that new car smell.
So what’s hot at the conference this year? Here are the tops:
- Management of open access resources and initiatives.
- Scholarly communications efforts.
- Measuring use of and satisfaction with ebooks.
- Library/publisher/vendor/faculty/user relationships and the unlikely collaboration that can ensue.
- Alternative metrics and impact factors.
Which sessions are you excited about? I can’t wait to fill my brain with new ideas, perspectives, and renewed enthusiasm, and to fill my belly with Lowcountry deliciousness. It’s always so nice to see old friends and colleagues too. I hope to run into many of you at sessions, coffee shops, the lovely aquarium, and at the Closing Session and End-of-conference Poll-a-Palooza Part II. It’s going to be a rockin’ time!
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.