Thoughts on ALISE

First, I’m sorry for the lack of updates and posts. My only excuse is that I was having way too much fun in Boston at ALISE (and with friends) to find time to post and only now have time to write down some of my thoughts.

This ALISE (Association of Library and Information Science Educators) Conference was the first one I’ve attended. Overall, I felt it was a good conference. The best part, of course, was reconnecting with friends and colleagues and meeting new people. I also thought the poster sessions were interesting, especially the works in progress because it gave a quick snapshot of the trends in LIS research. The doctoral poster session was also interesting because of the breadth of topics that the students studied. There was an emphasis on information seeking behaviors and information literacy, along with work in metadata, technology, and various other subjects.

Two of the sessions I attended stood out–one because I know one of the principle investigators and it is just an awesome project and the other because it was very relevant and timely.

The first was a presentation entitled, “Building a virtual archives and preservation curriculum laboratory at Simmons college: A case study in collaborative construction.” It was presented by Dr. Martha Mahard who, along with Jeannette Bastian, Ross Harvey, and Terry Plum, is working with many partners to construct a digital curriculum laboratory to train archival students in the preservation and curation of digital objects. This is such a wonderful idea and will be a great tool for students and those in the field. I love the fact that the lab is being built using open source software wherever possible and will be open access when completed. What a wonderful project! This project is being supported in part by a grant from IMLS (Institute of Museum and Library Services).

The second presentation that was very timely and most useful was the panel on site visits, job talks, and negotiation for doctoral students. I thought the panelists were very thoughtful and gave practical tips and answers to all of the audience questions. It is great that professors are taking the time to talk with doctoral students and demystify the entire hiring and tenure process before the students plunge into the interviewing pool. This was just a very well-done and practical session–I’m sure the advice will come in handy for everyone there who will someday be looking for a faculty position.

Although I’m done with traveling for a bit, I think this post will be very helpful to those of you who will be flying soon: Will I be charged for baggage and meals?. This is a great table by Orbitz comparing various airlines’ charges for checked luggage and meals. This will help you decide whether a bargain fare is actually a bargain after you factor in the extra charges.

Have a great day and I’ll be back soon with more library and technology news.