Expanding on What I Learned in Vancouver for SLA 2015

Guest post from member Ray Maxwell, who is looking forward to SLA 2015.

Maxwell_Ray_smI am reviewing my blog posts from SLA 2014 and thinking about a game plan for Boston and SLA 2015. Having already studied the schedule of conference events, now I am thinking about the outside stuff, the pieces that make the experience complete.

What’s really different this year? Well, last year I was a student, stumbling my way through the newness of everything. This year I am an SLA conference veteran AND an LIS graduate (barely, commencement is May 16th). So maybe I am a little bit smarter.

I’ve come up with some key takeaways from last year that I can put into action in June:

  • pay attention to the scheduled events, but know that some of the most interesting conversations take place between meetings–in the hallways, the coffee line, and the exhibit hall;
  • develop a game plan in advance for meeting and chatting with vendors – they can tell you a lot about how the field is changing and where the industry is headed;
  • take plenty of business cards but more importantly, scribble notes on the cards you receive–something special about the person, where they are from, where they went to school, what they think about their job or even about the conference;
  • make it a point to look up folks you met in Vancouver – you need to build on those relationships, maybe even send out e-mails prior to the conference; and
  • take a deep breath and enjoy the time away from home, or school, or the new job, or whatever the thing is you left behind.

Ray Maxwell is a reference and instruction librarian at Western Carolina University.  He blogs about his teaching experiences and anything else that comes up, and tweets about his hobbies (mostly poetry and gardening these days) at @hsifnihplod.  

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