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SLA 2009: Final Reflections

Looking back over my last few posts, it occurs to me that only one of the sessions I attended was specifically about LIS (or two, if you count Stephen Abram’s speech at the LMD business meeting). Looking at the programme, there were plenty of LIS-specific sessions available, so it wasn’t lack of choice. One thing that is immediately obvious is that almost all of the sessions I went to were focused on effective communication. This wasn’t a conscious choice to limit my sessions to this topic – and I do think I got something different out of each of them – but I guess I feel that communication (and particularly public speaking) is a weak point of mine. Hopefully I will be able to put the techniques I’ve learned into practice when I’m back at work (my new job starts tomorrow!).

I suppose if I thought about it at all then I probably thought that a lot of the stuff covered in the more LIS-centric sessions was similar to what I’ve been doing in my course, so it may not have been as valuable to me as information from the other sessions that I wasn’t likely to get anywhere else. Overall, I thought there were some fantastic sessions available – there were always several session on at once which I thought looked interesting. Maybe next time (and I certainly hope there will be a next time for me – though I’m not sure how I’ll pay for it!) I’ll try to attend a greater variety of sessions.

Another aspect of the conference which I haven’t covered yet is the social and networking events. I was lucky to be able to attend the First-Timers event on the Sunday, which was an excellent start to the conference, as well as the International Reception at the Zambian Embassy. I got chatting to some really interesting people at the International Reception, which more than made up for the enormous insect bites I got as a result of standing in the garden all evening!

The Division open houses were all well worth attending, giving me a chance to talk to some people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. I also very much enjoyed the IT party on the Tuesday evening – fantastic way to round off the conference, although I probably should have switched to water a little earlier on in the night!

Finally, I just wanted to add an extra thank you to SLA Europe and LMD for making this possible. I would recommend SLA membership to anyone, even outside the US, who is involved in workplace libraries; and would definitely recommend applying for the ECCA to anyone in the first five years of their career. It’s been an absolutely amazing experience.

That’s probably about it from me regarding SLA 2009: have a look at the SLA blog for some more commentary and links to other blogs discussing the conference; also check out Lyndsay’s CILIP blog for another UK perspective. I did mange to take some photos at the conference (although I took more of the city than I did of the convention centre!): they’re on my Flickr page.

I’ll probably be a bit quieter on the blogging front over the next week – between starting a new job (tomorrow!!!) and trying to get back into my dissertation, which I’d almost forgotten about over the last week and a half, I probably won’t have so much time to blog! May still manage to fit in a few Tweets though…

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