SELCO Staff Conference Report: Chris Austin – MLA 2018

Or – How I spent my MLA 2018 edition

Thursday: First I went to “The Web is Lovely, Dark and Deep.” 7/10 for minor factual errors and emoji use. I did learn that some libraries are now offering the TOR browser on their public PC’s, something that I’d be more that happy to provide on request.

Next I went to “Attack of Killer Computer, is Your Library Ready to Code?” looking for STEM kit ideas. 4/10 didn’t really cover anything I didn’t know, but I did have a nice talk with a children’s librarian from Mankato about what I did with code club.

After that I really need some caffeine, so I went down to common area and had a pop, while making some last minute additions and reviewing my own presentation.  I also visited the vendor area.

Then it was lunchtime, Officially I have no opinion of the keynote “We, Surveilled and afraid, in world we never made.” However I couldn’t maintain a poker face to the delight of the others at my table.       

After lunch I met up with James and we rehearsed our presentation.

For the first afternoon session I attended the “Robot Petting Zoo” with Becky 9/10, not enough time with the robots. But we did get some good ideas of what to put in a robot kit.  I ended my first day with “12 DIY Adult Programs” because the description made it sound like one of the 12 was on 3D printing, turns out that they used their 3D printer to make tools for one program. Not really what I was looking for, but what can you do.

Friday: For the first session, I attended “ I Did It!!: The Tip-Meister Dishes on Effective Processes to Get to the Finish” 10/10 for being useful, upbeat and well attended by SELCO staff. I think the biggest takeaway I got was this;  

Gather your facts; gather input , let it stew BUT

DO go ahead and bring an end to the decision making process.

Be sure to get a broad consensus but realize everyone may not be 100% on board.

Don’t let that untrack you.

For my mid-morning session I attended ”Champagne Library Technology on a Beer Budget: Tech Tools for Small Libraries”  I was hoping for hardware or public PC alternatives, but instead it focused on software, I shared some of my experience with Google forms and saw an interesting tool for doing live surveys. (add name from notes)

Blah blah addended something about teamwork.

Then it was my turn, James and I gave our presentation “Making Virtual Reality a Reality in your Library” The crowd was smaller that I thought it would be but, oh well. We took a tag team approach,  with James discussing programming using a HTC vive for a full VR experience. While my half focused on things to do with Google Cardboard. Our slide deck can be viewed here Despite some technical difficulties with the wifi, everything went okay. But, I consider it a win when I get up to present and don’t end up balled up under the podium.