Initial Thoughts on IL 2006

Usually, I’m blogging over there, but the next few days, my posts will be featured here. I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to post to the ITI Blog, because it’s important to stray from the daily grind and do something different. Especially with blogs. So, here I am.

A few thoughts about the conference and what I hope to see and not see.

1) I hope to see new faces. No offense against friends and colleagues of old, but new voices and networking opportunities are extremely important for future development. If you have never met me, please say hi after some of the sessions or in the corridors. Tell me what you love doing at your libraries. Tell me what you want to learn. Tell me what you have learned so far.

2) There will be lots, lots, and lots of sessions on Social Software. Last year, it was the hot thing and this year, the terminology has new meaning. It’s been a year since Library 2.0 has surfaced and I can’t remember a bandwagon that has had so many people scrambling for a seat. I love it. More library bloggers have arrived on the scene over the past year than I can remember from years past. Go L2. Anything that brings librarians together as much as it has deserves props and applause.

Here’s my worry. With so many sessions on Social Software, I hope that the presentations don’t morph into one, with the same commentary and discussions on the same tools, one after the other. Variety is the spice of life and I hope that it gels into this conference. I hope I’m wrong.

3) Here’s something I just started doing when handing out business cards. When exchanging, ask the person about their expertese. Social networking theory makes it clear that everyone is an expert as something. Write down this expertese on the back of the card and you not only have a new contact, but one to call upon if needed. If you are not an expert at something, think again. You are!

4) There are many new presenters this year and I love that. You have to hand it to Jane and her crew for being able to bring in talent from all over the world. Props!

5) I’m hoping that this conference is a stepping stone to different types of ITI events. One of the things that I love about ITI is that they are always willing to try new things and they let their consultants do what they do best. Promote, evangelize, and create. I’ve heard that this is the largest IL show as far as attendance and couldn’t be happier. The 2002 show was my first and it has changed alot since then.

More from me later on. Enjoy the day today and we’ll see you at the opening session tomorrow.

– Steven M. Cohen

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