What can I say about the library conference?
Mary Lu Gerke gave a fascinating talk about the differences between five generations—Traditionalists, Boomers, Gen X, Gen Y, and Homelanders—and how each generation was influenced by the preceding one.
I took thorough notes—anything this interesting has to be useful somewhere—and decided that the reason my husband and I don’t quite fit in with other Gen Xers is because we were both raised by Traditionalists instead of Boomers. Thank God we found each other.
The session on researching old properties was excellent, though it was more reassurance than discovery—apparently, we’re doing it right. Our library’s resources were mentioned once or twice, which was gratifying, and I jotted down some online databases that might help our patrons find the kind of history their abstracts don’t provide.*
Lunch was pretty good, though if the association is going to hold its annual meeting after dessert, they shouldn’t choose pasta Alfredo as the main course. I was sitting at a table immediately in front of the dais, and only the knowledge that half of my library’s administration department was staring at the back of my head kept me awake—though it still wasn’t a sure thing. I have to admit I also did some chapter outlining during the speeches and the non-voting matters.
I opted to skip the author panel I’d wanted to attend in favor of one on the importance of building a locally-focused collection, since I’d heard that Steve Semken is a good speaker, as well as being a fine writer and a publisher. He is, and though I was in favor of supporting regional literature at the start, I now have a better understanding of why this is vital to our understanding of the past. Good stuff.
The session on open source content management systems was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. Or the caffeine finally did its magic, though I had some questions and received answers that made sense, even to an older Gen-Xer who remembers when home computers ran on cassette tape.
But the most important thing I received from the conference was a box of assorted hardcover crime fiction and three autographed Francesca Hawley novels** from the silent auction. Eighteen books for about forty bucks and I’ve only read two of them! Score!
I fell asleep on the way home.
No, I wasn’t driving.
* This is also the time of year when people start wondering whether their houses are haunted—but since our county death records aren’t arranged by address, there’s a lot of research involved. I usually refer the truly worried to their clergyperson and the merely curious to Home Depot, but it’s nice to have actual facts as back-up.
I realize that there are more things in heaven and earth than may be dreamt of in my philosophy, etc., but if holy water and sage doesn’t stop the cold, October breezes coming from the windows that face the river, I personally—and without judgment—would recommend all-weather caulk over exorcism.
** I knew I was going to get the Hawley books—I was the only bidder. It was amusing to see all the librarians hovering over them, but not daring to put their names down in case someone saw that they were bidding on erotica (shhh!). Self-censorship, anyone? I’m not sure where the line is between romance and erotica anymore, anyway—you can say feather versus chicken, but the line is blurring more and more every year, especially with the paranormals . . .