Charlotte Re-examined Openly

From Joyce Valenza's SLJ Blog
Joyce & Buffy ask us to evaluate and "to begin a very open conversation about what we loved and didn't so much love about our experience in Charlotte."

Answering the questions...evaluating the conference...starting a conversation about
how we do things now... how we could do things next time, and how COOL things could be if we break out of the usual conference box is, IMHO, necessary. and please...don't ask me to translate that or type that again..

This was my third AASL...Pittsburgh, Reno, & Charlotte. The first AASL blew my mind..saw Francey Harris and she inspired me by her AWEsome Library Blog & presentation to start my own!
Joyce Valenza inspired me to stretch beyond my walls and to communicate and create a conversation with my kids AND my community, use my databases more vigorously, and showed me so many cool geeky things/sites! AND..from Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Reno, Washington, DC i feel like i've been stalking her all over the country like an acolyte ....sometimes after hearing her, i thought i would faint from all the ideas swirling and, Aye...the booming in me heid! Much like the Pittsburgh fireworks below! and i wondered then in '05, 06, 07, 09...and still do... when DOES Joyce ever SLEEP!!?? i know she dances! but sleep? - next time i hug her i'm gonna check for an automaton battery pack! LOL

Buffy Hamilton has inspired me since i stumbled across her Unquiet Library/ian Blog over a year or so ago and lurked there for good ideas... and lessons learned. therefore, i was honored, a little intimidated, humbled & occasionally babbling & bumbling to work with these AWESOME peeps as part of the Geek Squad for the Bloggers' Cafe and for the Smackdown! /gushing rant. reflections...i should warn you, dear reader, i am distressingly candid...that has ever been both my "charm and my downfall." (e. wharton) having said that, let me ramble a wee bit...
  • What worked at Conference?
So much! the feeling of camaraderie! the Bloggers' Cafe where ideas were shared, laptops re-charged, tired feet refreshed and minds expanded. What a wonderful idea!! There's no going back i think it was the highlight of the conference for many!

the Twitter Back Channel!!!!!!! by using the hashtag #AASL2009 this was the place to B! where people "met" & shared ideas and resources whilst in different sessions and then met F2F at the Bloggers' Cafe i think a lot of us were huggers at this conference, it was so awesome to be called by name or to recognize an "old friend" finally in person! felt in some ways like a large family reunion! \\FTW! // AND, the Twitter back channel, it inspired an awesome resource, the FREE Virtual AASL2009 by Aunty Tech, aka Donna Baumbach!

things that also worked were the:

b There website....great place to blog, meet, share photos, take polls, check session times & rooms and more!

Keynotes! those i heard were great! those i heard about were great, too!

The Sessions! Such great sessions....i wish i could have gotten to MORE! but thanks to the Twitter back channel i was able to hear quotes and get resources from those i missed. And thanks to the AASL2009 Twapper Keeper we can have the archive of the 3,119 tweets (as of today!) WOW!

City of Charlotte! Gracious, Gorgeous, & Oh so friendly!
Charlotte Convention Center (minus the horrid Interweb connection!!!) it was pretty, compact, and light filled...though i do think Baltimore could teach them a thing about a REAL crabcake...we've got nothing on your delicious cornbread and biscuits & gravy!
  • What are your takeaways?
i'm still working on MANY really! this will be expanded upon in the next week or so.. .. but what immediately comes to my mind is Buffy's Not Just Another Brick in the Wall session which opened my eyes to SO many things both webby and booky!
  • What needs to happen in Minneapolis 2011?
LARGER Bloggers' Cafe with comfy sofas and ample chairs AND a working, fast & reliable Internet connection. A larger Bloggers' Cafe will provide more opportunities for those who aren't presenting formal sessions but who have AMAZING programs & ideas and need to share them! A Bloggers' Cafe that is run a day early (like the Thursday) as an Unconference option for those who don't want to do a pre-conference or a city tour...would be GREAT!

  • What didn't work?
Still Too Much Paper!....just like at NECC (see above) there is no need to give out a daily magazine or newspaper...SO NOT GREEN and there was too much paper/adverts in the conference bag. Why not have an online published magazine? or a Kiosk with electronic options? and a scrolling display of the Flickr FEED?! and a Live scrolling display of the Twitter feed? Ooooer doesn't THAT sound AWEsome!

Evaluations: why not have an online immediate evaluations or a follow up email to ALL participants for EVALUATIONS?? why paper evals for every session? so much to sort through and to tabulate!

the b There website though glad it was was not intuitive and a bit clunky....why couldn't we have had a Ning? FREE! easy to join and it would GROW with every conference!

ALL in ALL it was an AWEsome Conference! smiles were many...hugs numerous....and great experiences... were, well...multitudinous!

friday night my brain was a happy crispy critter from being so energized...from having it blown so many times with great ideas! it was a-MAZING! And the energy and good warm feelings stayed with me even through the airport! I got home and immediately logged into Twitter to see what i missed!
Thank you new friends & new Tweeps for sharing so many great resources!!! YAY!


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