Monday, March 19, 2012

PLA 2012

While I did not attend the Public Library Association's 2012 conference in Philadelphia, PA, I must give two thumbs up to my coworkers who did.  From a training point of view, they utilized every free tool on the web available to them in order to share the information with staffers back home.  Just visit their blog and have a look at what they did.

In the past, attending conferences like these has been for the library elite.  It costs an incredible amount of money to travel and attend the conference which means that, if you can't afford the trip yourself, you must hope that your library will pay for you to attend.  While the library would like to send everyone, tight budgets mean only a select few can go.  Those who attend are given massive amounts of information, but what, if anything, do they do with that information?  Information is meant to be shared and if there is not an effective way to disseminate the information gathered at these conferences then the whole point is lost.

My coworkers who attended PLA used email, twitter, blogger, you tube, tumblr, foursquare, and sound cloud to give live coverage of the conference.  This makes the information tangible for those staff who were unable to attend.  There's no need for a top-down approach (i.e. let me share with you what I learned from jane doe at the conference I attended) because the information can now be shared straight from the presenter's mouth.

So, how is your library utilizing these free tools?

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