Friday, September 26, 2008

ILA Conference at Navy Pier

Yesterday was Day 2 of the Illinois Library Association's 3 day conference held at Navy Pier in Chicago. I attended and thoroughly enjoyed each of the 3 sessions I participated in. After years of employment at the American Library Association and working conferences in San Diego, Seattle, Orlando, Boston and Chicago it was nice to attend a Library Conference as a participant and not as an employee.
The sessions I chose to attend were really very good, particularly the Library 2.0 session with speakers from the Schaumburg, Skokie, Arlington Heights and Park Ridge libraries. I also sat in on a Learning Lab session (how to create an experiential learning environment within your library using Green technology and ideas) and a session on weeding your reference collection.
Like most conferences the rooms are rarely adequate for the attendees who show up, the rooms are either too small or too large, too cold or too warm, too noisy or with too many distractions. Like most PLA sessions I scheduled rooms for at ALA conferences getting the right room for the right program is almost impossible with the exception of opening and closing sessions when you know you will need the largest rooms.
What surprised me the most as an attendee in the sessions was not about the inadequacy of the facility but more the inappropriate behavior of other attendees! In my first session there was the constant stream of late arrivers who entered through the loudest and heaviest doors on 2 sides of the room. Or the attendees who after a few minutes decide they don't want to stay and get up from a seat in the middle of a row of 15-20 people and have to scooch by with multiple bags (free vendor handouts I am sure) full of free books, bottles of water, lunch bags etc. that smack each person they squeeze by.
In my 2nd session there was the woman sitting next to me in a packed overly small room who constantly fanned through the edges of her magazine for 60 minutes, zphhhhhhhhhhhhhh, zphhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Or my personal favorite the woman in my 3rd session with the snorting and clearing of her nasal passages every 1 minute. Seriously it's appalling when people are so clueless of their distracting behavior.
All in all the sessions were excellent, the speakers were well chosen and well spoken and the lovely setting of Navy Pier was a bonus. In between each session it was lovely to step outside and gaze upon the Chicago skyline while watching the boats sail in.

1 comment:

Toby said...

Glad you enjoyed our Learning 2.0 presentation! Please let us know if you have any questions related to tech training down the road.

Toby (Skokie Public Library)