VLA Conference

I attended the Vermont Library Conference last week and enjoyed all the programs I attended. As I’m learning is the case with conferences, the programs I’m most excited about tend to be scheduled at the same time. (That’s why I loved being an online attendee of the ER&L conference.)

I had a hard time deciding between a presentation about using social software tools in libraries and a presentation on using style sheets to update library websites. Of the two topics, I’m more familiar with social software, but I decided to go to that presentation. I’m glad I did: I learned a lot, the presenter was excellent, and I had an interesting (and ongoing) conversation with him after the talk. The highlight of the talk was seeing how libraries run an OPAC through a blog.

The next talk I planned to attend was about collaborations between high school and college libraries, but I was still excited about alternative approaches to the OPAC. I decided to go to the presentation on using Open Source library systems which focused on Evergreen and Koha. Code4lib was mentioned frequently (the presenter was quite a fan), and I recognized some of the open source tools he talked about from Winona’s trip to the Code4lib conference.

The CSS talk that I didn’t attend was co-presented by Jessamyn West, and I had the opportunity to attend her second talk on wireless in libraries. Because our library already has a wireless setup, I wasn’t as much interested in the selection part (though the satellite access her co-presenter outlined was cool) as the authentication part: how users connect to a library’s wireless network. I thought about it in relation to e-resource license terms, and I’m glad our wireless is restricted to only those users who have logins for our library computers and proxy server.

This conference is a great way to meet other Vermonters from different kinds of libraries. It was definitely a great experience, and I’m excited about attending the NASIG conference at the end of the month.

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