2019 was my second NCLA Biennial Conference. I only attended for a single day, so I’ll be brief.
My main business at the conference was to serve as a panelist at the session “Project Management in Technical Services.” Alongside colleagues from UNC-Charlotte and Western Carolina and moderator Kate Hill of UNCG, I answered a planned series of questions related to our experiences, strategies, successes, and (yes) failures as managers of projects in tech services departments. I hope that the 35-or-so audience members took away a few helpful tips, or at least confirmation that project management is hard for everyone, even the “experts.” One of my co-presenters had a very sweet and clearly competent service dog seated at our feet, and I tell you that animal could sense anxiety and knew how to respond; I’ve never felt less nervous while publicly speaking, what with a dog’s head on my lap and all.
Should I get a dog? What are the factors to consider?
Wanda Brown and Timothy Owens (State Librarian of North Carolina) spoke at the Ogilvie Lecture about the importance and changing role of libraries in our society and communities. The place was packed; I sat on the floor in the back. Wanda doled out some heartfelt words of wisdom for early-career professionals and LIS students. I am no longer that – early career – and certainly I am no student, nor will I be mistaken for one, ever again, without at least a wig and, let’s be honest, sunglasses and very different clothes. Yet there is no juncture in one’s career when a dose of Wanda’s innate positivity will fail to make one feel okay with existence and the choices one has made. Her enthusiasm is infectious. She makes you, a humble library worker, proud to do what you do – or, more to the point, what she does.