Friday, April 16, 2004

If It's Friday, This Must Be Connecticut

Two hours on the road this morning, including rush hour through Hartford, have taken me to this year's New England Association of Independent School Librarians Conference at Choate, a stately and formal prep school full of green grass quads and tall white and brick buildings that dwarf its dress-shirt students. The whole place is a bit intimidating; it doesn't help that all around me at this morning's meet-and-greet the conversations invariably turned to where you got your library degree. Bummer that Informatics didn't really exist six years ago when I got my MAT in Teaching with Internet Technologies.

I've snuck away from what the conference schedule describes as Luncheon with a talk by Jeffrey Schiff, Professor of Art History at Wesleyan University, introducing his installation, The Library Project, to sit among the project itself and blog on a wifi machine in the school library. From what I can tell, I'm not missing much: the "project" appears to be little more than a couple of glass cases with numbers in them, a reinterpretation of Borges' Library of Babel. This afternoon's sessions on New Electronic Media, which to librarians appears to mean purchasable databases, hold no more promise, but I'm obliged to attend, as the folks back at the homestead asked me to attend on their behalf while they stayed and ran the library without us.

This morning's sessions were excellent, though: a paired set, collectively described as Librarians, Superheroes, Wonder Woman, and Graphic Novels, and set in the rich new science center auditorium, a space of comfy chairs and hardwood which I covet for our own school like I've never coveted before. I've got voluminious notes on both excellent lectures -- first, Wesleyan Psych Prof Jill Morowski's The Psychology of Wonder Woman, and afterwards SUNY Buffalo Development Librarian Michael Lavin's heavily graphics-driven presentation on Building a Graphics Novels Collection in the School Library -- and hope to have more to say when I'm not in a rush, in the hot window sun, surrounded by students in collared shirts and khakis all waiting for a crack at the wireless laptop.

Ironically, NEAISL is the first of three conferences I'll be attending in a New England marathon over the next four days, and the only one not about blogging. Even more ironically, it seems likely that this will be the only on-site blog entry I'll be able to produce: tomorrow's BloggerCon is too close to home to justify sticking around at the wifi session at the conference's close, especially given that tomorrow night's the first of two shiva-sitting nights at my parent's house just one town over from Cambridge, and I have no illusions that three straight one-hour sessions at NERCOMP -- on blogging, wikis, and RSS -- will provide much time to conferenceblog. Rest assured, though, you'll be hearing from me by Tuesday.

posted by boyhowdy | 2:07 PM |

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