infinite digressions


Web 2.You at McGill – the little conference that could and does

The 3rd annual Web 2.You conference at McGill University just keeps getting better. The day started off with some intros from the current organizer, Amanda Halfpenny and a  Web 2.You pioneer, Amy Buckland. I had the pleasure of sitting beside Jocelyne Andrews (full disclosure, her office is right beside mine and we joke about cutting a window in the wall) who was also a Web2.You founder along with  with Amy and Jan Dawson.

Overall impressions before the summaries that can’t possibly do  justice to the wealth of ideas that this conference brought to the table this year. This student run conference attracts some of the brightest minds in library land. The level of discourse has shifted. We’re no longer talking about the nuts and bolts – let’s stop obsessing about the medium – but rather the implications, the practice, and the future.  It’s conferences like this one that press the fast forward button in your brain. The spirit of sharing and learning makes me happy to be a librarian. The fact that my co-workers, boss, and former boss, and a library committee member were there makes me feel lucky.

Jenica P. Rogers, Director of Libraries, SUNY Potsdam was exuding elegance at the podium as she took us through the good, the bad and the ugly on online identities for professionals.  Be thoughtful, be honest, be aware, and think ahead – of course, it’s richer than that so if you ever get a chance to see her speak, go. Drawing attention to the generational differences surrounding online identities and attitudes/expectations of those born with a silver iPhone in their mouths, Jenica pointed out in no uncertain terms that “we are all already old”. The insightful and mature note I jotted down was “BURN!” – that’s burn on us. Our users and future users are already here. She points out that our compromise to meet them where they are is not even close to good enough. In the future, who will our decision makers be? Who will they hire? What will they do and how quickly can it be done? What set of assumptions will they bring with them?   Real questions for an uncertain future. I’ve been wondering lately about social  & business life 10 – 20 years from now, when whole generations of people remain connected to their childhood friends (no more awkward re-connections with your best friend from grade 4) , having never lost touch. How will social and business relationships change? What impact will that have on our virtual and RL trusted networks?

Graham Lavender , co-organizer of  this event last year, discussed  blogs and Twitter.  Graham seamlessly wove together perspectives on being a newly graduated student, the ease and power of blogs and Twitter, and encouraged us all to get involved. After listening to these two presentations, the guilt about my negligent blogging was rising. I’ve considered changing the name of this not-so-frequently updated blog to “finite digressions”. In my heart, but maybe not my stomach,  I know that working on a history of the “Friday Club Sandwich in Quebec” (check your local greasy spoon menu)  is no excuse to neglect my library musings.

Panel discussion: put 3 of Montreal’s brightest minds on a panel and throw out some broad questions on democratization -  Michael Lenczner, Patrick Lozeau, and Michele Ann Jenkins, put their heads together and pushed this conference to the next level. Seriously, my notes are so ridiculous. I couldn’t keep up with the amazing ideas. In my opinion, Michele should speak at many conferences everywhere and anywhere. Here’s a nugget I can extract for you from that discussion and it comes via Michele: “My internet is not your internet”. We can’t keep talking about it as a singular thing and assume we’re all talking about the same thing. Wait for the video of this and watch it in its entirety. I’m going to watch it again. Please check out their bios too – I can’t summarize their achievements here. Here’s a link to the wiki for bios and video (hopefully coming soon):

You may also want to check the Tweets  #web2you for real-time reactions to the event and Megan’s amazing ability capture the moments.

Michael Porter, aka Libraryman,  uncensored, live at Thompson House, one day only. Tech tool #1, #2, #3, #4……Available in Canada, who cares? He reminds us that “tech is a tool, not a panacea” and “when it’s the right tool, we should use it.” So what are the right tools for us? Do we have them? Are we using them? Who are we trusting to build what we need?  What started off as leisurely stroll through the tech park grew into a frantic facing of the facts. Where is the infrastructure to support libraries and, more importantly, library users’ needs (what, when, where they want it) and why are we not real players in the infrastructure game? that so directly impacts access? that so directly impacts service? that so directly determines our relevance? I can put it down here as a few reasonable questions, but the effect in the room was like running in heels while being chased by zombies through that tech park with only a gum wrapper, a salad spinner and dead AA battery for protection.  The presentation also reminded me of that distinct Montreal music sound – it starts off soft and then builds and builds to a cacophony. All of a sudden, Arcade Fire’s Régine is screaming over 15 instruments. So in the spirit Arcade Fire let’s ask “Who’s gonna throw the very first stone?” and then, why can’t it be us?

The SLA student chapter 5 a 7 was a blast. I finally got a peak into the new SIS building and hey(!), why didn’t anyone tell me that SIS had moved into Hogwarts? It all makes sense really, this is where library magic begins and I’ll take the train from platform 9 3/4  any day.

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11 Responses - Comments are closed.

  1. Megan says:

    I couldn’t manage to tweet much during Michael’s talk–too many questions were flying through my head. I’ll think I’ll be pestering him with some follow-up emails!

  2. Graham Lavender says:

    Thanks for the kind words! It was a great experience, and I certainly learned a lot from all the other speakers. It was really amazing to see so many attendees there – it’s great to know how many people in our community care about this stuff!

  3. Lora says:

    Success! That’s 2 great Web 2.Yous for you!

  4. Amanda Halfpenny says:

    Thanks Lora, I’m glad you had a great time. I agree that Megan did a great job with the tweets! This is such an awesome summary of Web 2.You that I am linking to your post from my blog. I don’t see the point in trying to recap the highlights of the day when you’ve already done such a great job! Thanks again for coming!

  5. [...] has beaten me to the punch by posting a fantastic summary of the day’s activities entitled “Web 2.You at McGill – the little conference that could and does”. I really encourage everyone to read this post to get a better idea of the diversity of ideas that [...]

  6. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Didier, Graham Lavender. Graham Lavender said: Great summary of #web2you by @loraba – [...]

  7. [...] from a Montreal librarian, Lora Baiocco’s, who attended the event. This is from her “infinite digressions” blog. Thank you, [...]

  8. [...] Web 2.You at McGill – the little conference that could and does Web 2.Wow On Speaking in Montreal [...]


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