Just been to a great VALA general meeting “There’s an app for that”. I enjoyed the presentation a lot (see Twitter under #VALA for my notes).
However what has me hooked and going back to regular meetings, is the informal setting always offered before and after these meetings. Here I get to catch up with old friends, meet f2f with Twitter friends and talk to new people with an interest in emerging trends in libraries. A true measure of my enjoyment in these events is that tonight I actually paid an annual membership (yes I know my own faults) even though it only lasts for 6 months.
Basically VALA is becoming the f2f version of my wonderful Twitter support network.
And in the same way as my Tweeps, in these meetings not everyone agrees with me, or is polite and understanding. Quite the opposite: it means that a range of people speak and ask questions at a range of levels of understanding about emerging trends in librarianship. Opposing viewpoints get airtime and assumptions are repeatedly challenged. Repeatedly people bring topics that have gone off tangent back to – what can this mean for libraries? – without aiming to close the conversation, but because that’s our central focus. I feel stimulated, challenged, and ENGAGED. Wonderful really.
Tonight we learnt about apps, iPhone v Android v iPad usage – on topic. However conversations during and after ranged all over the place, including my love for circulation improvements. It’s amazing what I have missed happening right here in Victoria. Apparently Altona North already has ARS working. And interstate apparently Adelaide Council had RFID placed on the roof above their exit doors (removing the need for exit gates – a sad but real dream of mine). So next week (would be tomorrow but just a few more meetings tying up this week) I’m going to call the contact I’ve been given and see if I can tap into a recently run tour for public librarians for some of us academic library staff too. And get inspired with some of the fabulous staff I work with.
And then after that I’m going to think about talking to @haikugirlOz [ in her VALA elPresidente hat] I want something like a day, perhaps a “seminar” before VALA conference. Where we have one a big room, and every library that wants to has a stand that shows what they’ve done that year (from basic circ policies up to RFID), and we all go around and talk to each other. Cause it’s where the real strategic planning starts … at the chatting with others stage.