I’ve been slow about writing conference wrap-ups! I guess it is because my summer conferences are pretty much back-to-back with IASSIST at the beginning of June and ALA at the end. The other issue may be that my conference experiences are changing. I’ve been spending less time in programs and more time in meetings. I called ALA the “grown-up version” this year because I spent so much time in meetings and much less seeing celebrities and partying. Ahem, I mean networking.
IASSIST is the data professionals conference and it kicked off with two mega-meetings of the Administrative Council on Sunday and Monday. I’m on the Administrative Council by virtue of being a co-chair of the Professional Development Committee. My work on Prof Dev focuses mostly around creating workshops for the annual conference while the other chair is really into the big picture ideas like, “Where is IASSIST going? Who is IASSIST anyway?” We play to our strengths as I sometimes get frustrated with big picture discussions and tend to gravitate more to project development.
However, IASSIST needs to consider big picture ideas now because so many people are interested in data. We need to capitalize on the momentum to make a place for ourselves in the data world. Take this for example: while we were holding our meeting, the LITA Forum 2012 announcement came out, and the program is entitled “A New World of Data”. Some of the sessions look like they would overlap with IASSIST with a library focus. I don’t think the issue is necessarily competition, but rather how the organization communicates that we are a broad umbrella for all types of data professionals from librarians doing data discovery to DDI specialists to data archivists. How do we communicate more effectively with LITA and others who are working with or interested in data? It’s a quandary.
As always there were many excellent sessions and lots of good conversations. Here are the highlights from just a few.