A Well Dressed ConferenceAhhh, the arrival of fall. Fall means lots of things...apple picking, farmers market, dried flowers, cutting herbs, and annual conferences. One must love conferences. Note I don't say one should, or one could, but one must. Yes, when else can you be surrounded by colleagues? Oh yes, at work. So, the logical thing to do is to find a convention center, and put lots of librarians from all over into one happy place. Bliss. According to the statistics I have gathered from my blog-o-meter, people come here looking for things like "librarians with each other" and "librarians in charge" and "undressed librarians", and spare that last one, that's what conferences are really all about. Sharing.
But what to share? Librarians know so much. Reference skills, management techniques, even children's literature. I propose a few other, practical seminar "break out sessions".
-"How to pretend to listen"
-"Why you shouldn't wear holiday sweaters during the holidays"
-"Working with a hangover" (you know librarians can be kinda boozy...go to a holiday party)
-"Foods you should prepare at home, and not in the employee canteen"
-"Not all male librarians are gay" (that ought to draw an interesting crowd)
-"Living up to stereotypes for fun"
-"How to clean up vomit, and other fluids"
-"How to teach and encourage elderly staff to use "the e-mail"
-"Crafts NOT to make during Summer Reading Club" (this includes all crafts that include glitter, baby oil, or kerosene)
-"Sue them back, or Administration's guide to problem patrons"
-"Dying behind the reference desk- A frank discussion about retirement"
-"Weeding 101" *reserved for librarians who have been employed since Dewey died.
-"The sling-back: practical solutions for reaching and bending"
-"How do I end this reference session?"
-"Ending sexual harassment in the work place: the Lone Librarian"
-"How to answer awkward questions" (good for children's librarians who get questions like "Where did my doggie go?" or "Why doesn't daddy work?")
-"Pets in the library"
-"Breathing through your mouth during a reference interview" (You know, sometimes the smell is just too bad)
-"Internet filters and how they work" OR "Why jugs.com isn't viewable at your terminal"
There are so many things they don't think of. I should really get on board with these ideas - the kids would go crazy for them. I for one am very eager to learn, aren't all librarians?
Moral of this blog: Get a free tote bag, then load up at the vendor displays.