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Denver's 16th Street at Night
A Cold Denver Night Scene

Sunday was a day full of meetings, presentations and networking for me that ran from 7:30 am to 11:00 pm (way past my usual bedtime!). Neither of my committees met, so I had the flexibility to pick and choose how to structure my day. The day was cold with snow flurries, which added a wintery dimension moving from location to location.

Last ALA, Lauren P. introduced me to the Alexander Street Press customer appreciation breakfast. Not only do they provide a good substantial meal, they also bring in an excellent speaker. It’s a popular function and this time there were about 550 attendees. The speaker was Pulitzer prize winner Art Spiegelman, a comic artist best known for his graphic novel Maus. In his talk, he was very passionate in advocating for the medium of comics as one that gives a full texture of experience. I am a unabashed daily comics reader, but have never really studied the art of comics. After listening to Mr Spiegelman talk about his art, I think I have found a new interest to dig into.

At ALA, there are always competing events, and LITA’s “Top Technology Trends” meeting began during the breakfast time slot. But Lauren and I were able to arrive in time to hear the final hour, which was when the panelists share their pick for the current top trends. I’m sure Lauren will give us a full report on the meeting, so I’ll leave the details for her! The technologies they used to chronicle the meeting was the most advanced to date, including a live blog.

Afterward, I met with my ALA Editions editor for preliminary discussion on perhaps doing a 3rd edition of my book (seems promising). I ran into our former colleague Emily Stambaugh and had an early lunch while we caught up on what we’ve been up to since she went west (4 years ago, how time flies). She’s now at the California Digital Library managing their shared print program.

For my afternoon session, I chose a discussion event: “Teaching 2.0: What are the Pedagogical Implications of Social Technologies?” It must be a hot topic, as over 200 people showed up to a room sized for about half that many. Each table discussed how 2.0 technologies inform our teaching in the framework of David Wiley’s changes in the world that compare then/now: analog-print/digital; closed/open; tethered/mobile; isolated/connected; generic/personal; consumption/participation. We concentrated on four “teaching 2.0” qualities: openess, connectivity, personalization and participation. After talking and sharing, I came away with a good feeling about what we are doing with our IL program at ZSR. We seem to be ahead of the curve compared to other programs because of our instructors’ enthusiasm for exploring ways to incorporate active learning and participatory pedagogy with the 2.0 technologies.

I wrapped my day up with a series of social/networking events, a departure from my usual “one evening function” approach. I attended a reunion of Harvard Leadership Institute alumni which was hosted by ACRL. Then I headed out in the COLD night air (single digit) to meet Bill for dinner and good conversation. My final destination (again through the cold) was to an Elsevier reception where Lauren C. introduced me to many of her friends and colleagues from her ALA work and Emory days.

This morning I’ll wrap up my conference with one last meeting, then head off to the airport for the long trip home. All-in-all, I vote this a successful conference experience.