I just sat through a good presentation at this year’s Kansas Tri-Conference on creating online storytimes for libraries. The presenters are doing cool things at their library to the best of their ability, so that’s cool.
They could also do it better (couldn’t we all?). They found tools that would get the job done, and have stuck with those tools… which is fine. At the same time, there is more appropriate software to use, and the presenters misunderstood some things about emerging web trends (ie., one of the speakers mentioned the possibility of YouTube giving a computer virus to a customers’ home PC).
I was a good boy and listened (and I might email the presenters later) – but it got me thinking about the whole speaker fee, state association thing again. Certainly, it’s important to make speakers, even in-state, dues-paying speakers, feel like their presentation is worthwhile (ie., comping fees and providing honorariums).
But it just dawned on me that it’s also EXTREMELY important for people like US to speak at local and regional conferences. And when I say “people like us” – I mean YOU – readers of my blog (ok, myself too).
For example, if you are reading this blog, you are probably more of an expert on blogs and RSS than most of the other librarians attending regional conferences. Really. By the simple act of reading my blog, you are “an expert.” What do you know? For starters, you have a basic understanding of RSS, feed readers, blogs, updated content aggregation, and commenting. That’s more than most of the state conference attendees know (I’m making assumptions here, based on one session I attended… so take that how you will:-).
And your knowledge is worth sharing.
Now, hopefully you get your dues, travel expenses, etc. paid for or comped. But if you don’t, and you plan to attend a local conference anyway – why not speak? Why not share your knowledge with others? Why not start conversations, at your local level, to improve library services? That can be a good thing.
So my encouragement to you, dear reader – please go out and share your knowledge with other librarians! Let’s see what happens when we collaborate and spread the joy!