Well, I have come at last to the end of the seminar. Friday was the last day of schedule activites, and a pretty lightly scheduled day at that. In fact, there was only one real content-related session: a talk about skills for 21st century librarianship. And actually, I have to say that particular talk was slightly disappointing. Mostly because it seemed like a rehash of a lot of the stuff that had been covered in previous session, but also, I think, because if you've spent any time keeping up with some of the more informal discussions that have been running around the world of library bloggers you've already heard a much better take on what you'll need to know. The other big event was our final dinner in the evening, which I expect was like a lot of similar events. We took lots of pictures (well, everyone except me - I don't actually like taking pictures of people all that much - I always feel like I'm imposing), we spent some time talking about what we learned, we spent a lot more time talking about things like our plans for the summer and television (turns out I wasn't the only seminar attendee who has a fondness for British TV), we all drank more wine than we probably should have... I seem to recall a fairly badly sung chorus of "In My Life" at one point... But, enough about that....
Instead of discussing the last day in any great detail, I'd rather summerize the whole experience. The short summary is that it was wonderful.
The long answer is that this was an incredible chance to take a peep inside the workings of a major library that's undergoing a some serious changes. Although this was billed as a primarily academic seminar, it didn't really feel like a class. The folks who came and presented for us didn't really take the role of teachers as much as collegues sharing their experiences, most of the presentations were something along the lines of, this is how our world is changing is this is how we're dealing with it, we hope it can help you. Now, I realize that in grad school there is more of a collegues sharing experience than in undergrad classes, but this was different still - I almost wonder if this was more the sort of thing that happens at professional conferences (I've not yet attended one, so I can't comment). Anyway, that was very cool. It was also great to meet folks from other schools that I might not have gotten a chance to otherwise. After many years of reading British fiction, I finally got to see England with my own personal eyes, and that was very cool. I got to hang out in what has to be one of the original "college towns," and since I think college towns are some of the coolest places on Earth, I really enjoyed that. In other words, I had a great time, and I wish ya'll could have come with me.
I would very much like to go back sometime and do it again.
So, I've now come to the end of my narrative. I didn't expect it would take me quite this long to write (over 4 months), but to those of you who have hung on, thanks for your patience. I think this proves that I probably do *not* have a future in journalism - reporting is HARD, dammit, and I blew just about every deadline I tried to set. But it was still fun. I now plan to shift gears slightly and just ramble about, as it says in my tagline: library school, books, technology, and other things.
Watch this space for more.