CLA Conference – Paul & Kelly's Take

Here's the report that a couple classmates sent to our class listserv with their take on the CLA conference…

The good:

The 2 best presentations we saw were on Thursday, one
on recruitment in Academic Libraries, and the other was a debate on
whether we as librarians have made ourselves obsolete over the past
decade. The Academic libraries presentation was useful in that it gave
tips on applying, to make your cover letter stand out, the interview
process (a whole day, often), our generation's job prospects (not bad,
but there aren't as many retiring as we predicted – things should be
good between 2009-2014). They also raised a commonly-heard complaint at
FIMS, ie library schools' lack of adequately preparing its students for
jobs, especially the lack of technological skills….505, anyone?
anyway, it was probably the most informative seminar I saw.

“debate”, apparently a tradition at the conference, was on “It may not
be a paper-less society, but it could be a librarian-less society”. I'm
sorry to say, but the side arguing that it
will be a librarian-less
society had the better arguments – in a nutshell, we've made it so easy
for the user, that they don't need us, and the fact that we've gotten
into bed with all the vendors. Soon, every library (academic,
especially) will be as similar as one Chapters to another, if we've all
bought the same package(s) from the same vendors. Another good point,
was that as a profession, we're too hung up on getting “respect” from
the outside, we have an inferiority complex, etc, and this is why we've
let big business slowly creep in to libraries. Kinda like a lively 501
class. But, good stuff to hear for us who
are entering the profession; maybe we'll put up more of a fight than
the people w ho've been there all their lives, and who don't  really
care anymore….

The Bad:

$90, the “lunch” provided was pretty pitiful, a wrap, either with
chicken, or “cup of noodles” thrown into a wrap, and called vegetarian.
And pop (2 kinds, 7up and Pepsi, guess we made a deal with only one
vendor). And, there were some fairly boring presentations, but you
never know til you go. And
nobody knows how to use powerpoint effectively. Really, the worst I can say about the conference is this (apart from below).

The Ugly:

I'm not sure how much CLA paid to have Elvis , a middle-aged Marilyn
Monroe, and an annoying clown wander around, but this money could've
been better spent on food, at the very least…

Anyhoo, time's
running out here on the internet access, but overall, it was definitley
worth going to. Maybe didn't shmooze as much as we should've, but
others may have had luck in this department.

And someday, we predict that Jason will be the CLA president 🙂

Paul and Kelly 

Classmate of the Day:
Emilie McLachlan for her Dell-inspired weekly summary for Management
class today (and I'm not referring to the Dell laptop she brings to

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