11/11/2008

LIASA Conference Post Mortem

It's been more than a month and the Liasa Conference lingers still.
What an experience!
Such magnificent highs and such crushing lows and still the stupid lump in my throat persists
against all rhyme or reason.
Perhaps it's was the sense that no matter where we were from we all shared an inherent kinship that was linked by our love for knowledge and sharing that knowledge.
Who knows? The lump prevails! (And if it's not gone at the end of the month, I'm seeing a doctor
or a mental health practitioner, what ever applies in this case.)

The Highs of the conference:
The novelty of experiencing things like an AGM, a plenary session and Mr T Mathee's usage of the word, colleagues. (64 uses in one speech should be a personal record.)
The Gala evening was fantastic.
The Social event was fantastic. (See earlier posts for my opinion on Jaloers Bokkie.)
The people I met defined the experience in one exquisite high.

The Lows of the conference:
The loneliness. Less than a handful of my compatriots from the public libraries applied for grants or had joined Liasa for that matter, which left me all by my lonesome. (Ag shame!)
The Theme:
The theme, though ambitious was something that was not fully addressed or dealt with in
a meaningful way.
Where were the e book readers, or forward thinking suggestions for alternative library
layouts, the weapons to combat the scourge of Playstations and Wii's or Web 2.0 apps in their full glory. Really so much potential that got swallowed by other stuff.
And I'm still waiting for my free Iphone.
The one that I would have won, if someone had perhaps raffled one off.
Which in turn would've gotten the Public Libraries involved, because their is nothing a public librarian loves more than a good raffle. We're simple yet complex creatures, like Dolphins.

Bottom line:
The Highs outweigh the lows. And really, you wouldn't be able to tell something was a high if it didn't have an opposite. So in the end the entire experience was just one big HIGH.
Ultimately the people I met and interacted with shaped my view of this conference in an overwhelmingly positive light.
As they left, these librarians from parts as far flung as Kuruman and Villiersdorp, they left an indelible mark.
One I wear with sadness and lumpy pride.

(Perhaps next time I'll buy the T-shirt.)

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