Final Thoughts

Saturday, March 19th 2005

Well Supershuttle got me to the airport alright, I just have 3 hours until my flight… le sigh. No wireless available either, so I’ll backdate this post appropriately. Speaking of the lack of wireless, it really does surprise me. Even Pittsburgh has it, and Dulles is a far larger site. I suppose size could impose problems on access point deployment, but I figured the larger airports would have had the job done first.

Figured I’d use the time to reflect on Computers in Libraries 2005 while its all still fresh in my head.

In short: I loved it!

I’m so energized, so excited about the librarian profession, its unbelievable! There’s a lot of mind-boggling tech applications coming down the pike; there’s going to be a lot of change during my career. My classes have never gotten me this psyched.

I think a large part of my excitement comes from the people. This was my first chance to interact with so many like-minded people since I started school. My professors are all very competent, but none of them are practicing librarians. It’s the age old theoretical/practical split.

These people just… wow. All the librarians I met are jaw droppingly intelligent and interesting people. The stereotype of the bun-haired, stern, anti-social librarian is going the way of the dodo, as if I didn’t know that already. As Andrea said to me: “I like you, Chad. You’re a geek, but you talk like a normal person!”

I’m by far a junior member of the club, or maybe even not a member at all yet. In fact, I’d wager money that I was the youngest attendee at the conference by at least a couple of years. But still, everybody was extremely welcoming and anxious to talk to me.

I’ve always been sort of a techie. More so in recent years I guess. While a lot of material presented at CiL wasn’t exactly new to me, the applications of it to the library world were. See my previous posts about individual sessions for more detail on that front, I’ve covered it about as much as I can. Yes a couple of sessions were duds, but that’s to be expected anywhere.

I got more than I thought I would out of the vendor exhibits, too. They weren’t too willing to talk to me once they found out I’m still a lowly student with no purchasing power. But seeing their product demonstrations allowed me to picture a lot of things more clearly. RFID in a library setting for example, or advances in self-checkout and return. And at the least I’ll be able to recognize which companies are in the IS field by name.

I really can’t wait to get out there in the field, putting into practice what I’m learning. A week ago, the notion of having just five months before school is done was terrifying. Now, its exciting.

On a lighter note, I also have to give some props to my cargo pants. Cargo pants are perhaps the most underappreciated tech accessory on the market today. Thanks to the big side pockets I was able to carry around my camera, phone, assorted cords, and still have two hands free for a notebook and brochures. All this without the need to resort to a bag, which I surely would have lost at least thrice.

Hey you bloggers out there: I loved meeting you this week. Drop me a comment with your blog’s address so I can add you to my aggregator. I have a good bunch of you already, but I know there’s some I’m missing.

Hmm, I wonder what food is available in this concourse…

19. March 2005 by Chad Haefele
Categories: General, Libraries/Info Sci | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. Speaking of wireless in Pittsburgh: I was just there yesterday, flying home for break. I managed to connect perfectly in the food court area (called my dad on SkypeOut!) but sitting at my gate the connection would stall out at “acquiring IP address.” The reception was fine, it just couldn’t get an IP from the network for some reason. I’ve used the wireless at that gate before, so I assume it was just a temporary problem. But you’re right, it’s so incredibly convenient.

  2. What concourse were you in? I was at the Independence Air gates and it worked fine there. Maybe you got a bad access point or something, large scale wireless deployment seems to be more of an art than a science at this point.

  3. Pingback: Tame the Web: Libraries and Technology

  4. I was at C-54, which is AirTran. It’s not too far down the concourse from Independence, so I don’t know what the problem might have been.

  5. Pingback: Hidden Peanuts » Blog Archive » iPod Touch: Better than cargo pants

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