Welcome to the blog for the 39th Charleston Library Conference! The pre-conferences began on Monday, November 4 and continued on the following day.
We hope that you didn’t miss the Vendor Showcase on Tuesday, November 5. It was open from 10:30 AM to 6 PM in the Grand Ballroom of the beautiful Gaillard Center. There were exhibits from over 140 vendors displaying their products. And fear not, there was plenty of food available, with a buffet lunch at 12:00, refreshments at 2:30, and finally a reception beginning at 4:00. Just one caution, though: The Charleston Conference is not like many others where the exhibits are open through most of the conference. Wednesday was the only day for the exhibits.
The conference theme is “The Time has Come … to Talk of Many Things”, which is highly appropriate because there is certainly a large variety of session topics to choose from. So how do you choose and keep track of the sessions and speakers? The easiest way is to use the online scheduling system, Sched, on the conference website. It’s very powerful and flexible and has many features for both Android and iOS platforms. There is a “how to use it” guide available here. I won’t attempt to describe the multitude of sessions available, but will simply list a few of the keynotes and plenaries to whet your appetite:
- Wednesday’s opening keynote, “Building Trust When Truth Fractures”, by Brewster Kahle, Founder and Digital Librarian,The Internet Archive.
- Keynote plenary on Wednesday at 1 PM, “Anticipating the Future of Biomedical Communications”, by Patricia Flatley Brennan, Director, National Library of Medicine.
- Thursday’s keynote plenary at 8:35 AM, by Kumsal Bayazit, CEO, Elsevier.
- The Charleston Premiers, Thursday at 5:30, Five-minute Previews of the New and Noteworthy by 12 providers.
- The always popular Friday morning plenary, “The Long Arm of the Law”, featuring Michelle Wu, Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center, and Bill Hannay, Partner, Shiff, Hardin, LLP, who provides some notable musical entertainment.
- Friday’s closing session and Poll-a-Palooza by Stephen Rind-Tutt, President, Fairfax House Group, LLC, and Erin Gallagher, Electronic Resources Librarian, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida.
One of the highlights of the Charleston Conference is the Annual Conference Reception on Wednesday at 7 PM at the South Carolina Aquarium, where attendees can enjoy beverages and local specialties such as shrimp and grits.
One of the joys of the Charleston Conference is its namesake city. Be sure to give yourself time to explore the marvelous historic area Two of the “don’t miss” sights are Rainbow Row and Fort Sumter. And the restaurants are renowned. Pick up a city guide book at the information desk on the second floor of the Francis Marion Hotel
Don Hawkins blogs about conferences for Information Today and Against The Grain. He also maintains the Conference Calendar on the Information Today website and is the Editor of Personal Archiving: Preserving Our Digital Heritage, published by Information Today in 2013, and Co-Editor of Public Knowledge: Access and Benefits, published by Information Today in 2016. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked in the information industry for over 45 years.