This was my first time attending the Library Technology Conference at Macalester College, and it won’t be my last. Both keynote speakers (Sarah Roberts – UCLA and Bergis Jules – University of California, Riverside) presented on very poignant topics that I had not thought much about previously but were very thought provoking. The first session I attended was presented by Heather Howard and Sarah Huber (Purdue University), who discussed the management of the libraries’ social media profiles at Purdue. Some of the results of their surveys were very interesting, particularly when they found that Purdue students would rather the libraries be on Facebook and Instagram as opposed to Twitter. It would be interesting to see how these results compare to students at other schools. Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran (University of Minnesota – Rochester) presented on work she is doing with flipping and assessing the information literacy sessions she provides. These flipped classes have resulted in students coming to class better prepared, meaning more active learning takes place. Alison Sommer (Minnetonka High School) presented “From College to High School: Observations from Crossing the K-12/High Ed Divide”. As a former librarian at Macalester, she noted that there are many misconceptions that people have about first year college students and their technological aptitude, which I found to be very enlightening and will definitely impact my expectations of first year students. The final session I attended on Day 1 was presented by Megan Peterson and Amanda Bauer (St. Mary’s University of Minnesota). They discussed the social media campaign they rolled out this year and how their attempt was not as successful as they would have liked. It was refreshing to hear about a program that failed and what they would do in the future to improve the program.
The first session I attended on Day 2 was presented by Amy Gratz (Kennesaw State University), during which she talked about her current LibGuide redesign project. I learned a great deal of information that I will definitely keep in mind as I create and edit LibGuides in the future. The next session I actually ended up in accidentally! I went to the wrong room, but thought the presentation was so interesting that I decided to stay. Librarians from Hennepin County Library discussed MnSpin, a collection of music from unique, diverse Minnesota musicians. I love the idea of working with local musicians to create a collection available to the public that will also help promote the abundance of talent in Minnesota. In the last session I attended, Allie Thome (Concordia College) discussed various social media platforms and how to utilize them to engage library patrons. This was an interactive session, so we also used a couple of apps to practice putting together social media posts. Overall, my experience at LibTech was an extremely positive one. Since social media and outreach are areas I am interested in learning more about, I mostly selected sessions that focused on those topics, but I found value in every session that I attended. I am excited about incorporating the information I learned into my work and am looking forward to attended LibTech again in the future.