OLA Superconference 2011

my swag
Just a small sample of the free swag I took home!


I arrived at Superconference 2011 excited and eager to begin my day! It was my first time attending the conference, and as a new librarian I had heard such great things from colleagues.

The first session I attended was called ‘Wired For Fun: An introduction to online gaming’. I choose this session as my library is currently trying to figure out how to effectively make use of our brand-new Wii. So far, I have organized a Wii Tournament over March Break, but I would eventually like to incorporate the technology into regular use.

I know that some library systems were encouraging participants to leave sessions that were not useful or interesting to them, but I found latecomers (and there were plenty!) very distracting.  Besides that slight annoyance, I found the actual session useful. I thought some of the slides were quite text heavy and the fonts were sometimes hard to read, but the presenter had told us that taking notes were not necessary as the presentation would be available online.  Since I am not a ‘gamer’, a review on the types of games available (racing type games remain #1) and actual game title recommendations proved valuable. I was also pleased to hear that the Wii is the most utilized game console for library systems.   During this session, I was given homework: to understand what MMORPG’s are all about. If you knew that MMORPG’s stand for Massively, Multiplayer, Online, Role-Playing Games, then I am impressed. You probably have some mad gaming skills, and like millions of others play games like Second Life or World of Warcraft.  I’m just fine playing my Nintendo Duck Hunt, but figure I should probably know what all my teens are talking about.

After the session, I explored the EXPO. I was happy to see a familiar face, author Sharon McKay signing books (she had visited our library just months prior).  I knew Franklin’s author/illustrator, Paulette Bourgeois and Brenda Clark would be attending so I found our copies of Franklin in the Dark and had them signed. I also able to talk to various library vendors and walked away with very heavy armfuls of great library swag, including free signed copies of books!

I then met two of my MLIS colleagues at Joe Badali’s (yum!) and returned for the Child & Youth Expo. Like many others, I too was disappointed with the lack of YA offerings, and really wish I could have attended the CLASY event a couple of weeks ago. Of what was available, my favourite poster session was Caledon Public Library’s postcard program that provided children/youth the opportunity to exchange postcards with others from around the world. Overall, I was pleased to see plenty of smaller systems (like mine) showcased and not just the bigger systems. 

At the end of the day, my favourite session was ‘Library 2 Library’. The presenters from Oshawa and Cambridge P.L. were so enthusiastic about what they’re doing that it was inspiring! Reaching out to schools and building community relationships is important, so any tips to improve such relationships are very much welcomed. In fact, I just had a local school visit this morning, and was able to incorporate some of the presenter’s ideas to get the classes back in the library. I can’t wait to get my hands on their Powerpoint and review their success stories and advice!  

Although I only attended Friday’s sessions, I was able to follow OLA happenings via Twitter. Lots of participants were tweeting about OLA not providing free WIFI,  the many authors signing books, great sessions, free swag and the Orpheus choir flash mob. To search for more Twitter OLA tweets, search #SC2011. Also, click here to view some pictures of OLA on Flickr! Wherever I may be next year, I hope I will be able to attend OLA 2012.

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