Another great year at LibTech! Both keynote speakers were excellent this year and made me think about topics in new ways. The first session I attended was led by Honna Veerkamp (St. Louis Public Library), who talked about ways to strengthen community partnerships. Honna has a very unique job (she’s a Creative Experience Specialist) and gave a lot of good ideas about how to connect with different types of partners to offer new types of services. Mary Wussow presented an idea-filled program on “Tech in the Suburbs,” where she gave tons of great ideas for tech programs. The ideas were great because they covered all ranges — high cost, low cost, involved, not-so involved, etc. She showed a new type of audiobook from Vox Books, where the audio is built right into the book (rather than on a CD) and the books are charged when they are returned. I will definitely look into those! I wrote down a LOT of her ideas, including using small digital picture frames for advertising library events/news.
On Day 2, I attended Amy Carney’s program about creating future ready media centers. Amy did two major overhauls of library media centers in 3 years and showed a ton of pictures and shared an immense number of ideas and tips for the process. It was an incredible amount of work, but her results were fantastic. Two U of MN librarians discussed patron privacy and data retention in libraries during the afternoon, which was really fascinating. Although libraries claim to not keep user data, we do actually store an immense amount of information — but for what reason? For how long? The implications of this are fascinating and the future seems really overwhelming. The last session I attended was about the use of virtual reality in libraries and was a hands-on workshop where we would try viewers and apps. I enjoyed the discussion around the topic because I have purchased Google Cardboard viewers for my libraries and it was interesting to hear how other folks are using them. As I said, another great LibTech conference!