#acrl2017 - it's a wrap

Hello, friends.

I wrote a post on Thursday titled ACRL2017 – Day Zero, implying to myself and you that I would be posting daily updates from the conference. HAHAHAHA. It’s always good to aspire, right?

This was my ninth ACRL – yes, ninth – and I was giving some thought to that over the course of the conference. I’m 17 years into this library adventure and I reckon that’s just a little bit less than halfway through, assuming I don’t win the lottery or have a life-changing encounter and open that goat farm that’s previously been my post-apocalyptic Plan B, or whatever. What kind of world will we be living in? Where will libraries be at that time? Where will I be? What choices should I be making now that I’ll be happy with in 20 years? These are some of the questions that were in the back of my mind as I experienced the conference.

One indirect result of all this heavy stuff swishing around in my thoughts was a little carpe diem, or maybe carpe ACRL – I was a co-chair of the Innovations committee, and this incredible group of people put together so many cool things for the conference: team trivia on opening night, the first-timer game, the Zen room with chair yoga which I heard was wildly popular, the art lounge, introvert recovery room, volunteering / give back opportunities, lightning rounds, and that’s not even everything – ??? Thank you all so much. So, I thought to myself, I need to build in some time to actually experience these things that we all spent so much time planning – and I’m so glad I did.

I loved the art lounge! I colored a page one day, just chilled in the comfy chairs another and had some great random run-ins with friends and colleagues on another day – it was such a great downtime space. In talking with some friends last night I guess the introvert recovery room was also super welcome. Yay!

So about the programming. I’m a user experience librarian who doesn’t liaise or teach as part of her job (although my applications and systems support those who do), who has a big heart for reference, and who loves some cool edgy technology. How do you program for me? Not sure. I’ll be honest, maybe I’m on the verge of #getoffmylawn territory, or maybe it’s just been an exceptionally hectic spring semester, but I struggled to connect with the full program ahead of time via the website or app. These are things I work on in my work-life, so I know it’s a hard thing to get right, and based on the interaction people were having with the conference app, it looks like maybe I was just being kind of a fogey. Ha! Regardless, once I got onsite I found more items of interest than I’d feared I might … and every single day something I most wanted to see was in the opening time slot! I took that into account for my social schedule. ?

Highlights this year included mostly contributed papers, lightning rounds and TechConnect sessions for me. Here are notes on just three:

This post is droning on, we still have to wrap up and head to the airport, and I haven’t even talked about the panels or keynotes, or how amazing the lightning talks were, or about any of the great restaurants or bars … oh geez. I’m just going to leave you with these tweets and hope to post again as I have time to process more. I’m also working on pulling down the #acrl2017 tweets for further review later.

Thanks Baltimore, and ACRL 2017! See y’all in CLEVELAND. ⚡️