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So, the suspense is over, and the schedule’s out for the 2010 CILIP CDG New Professionals Conference (ok, yes I know that technically it’s been out for a while, but let’s not dwell on the tardiness of my blogging, ok?)
And I have to say it looks ace I know this might prompt accusations of an unbecoming lack of modesty, as I have the enormous good fortune to appear on the programme twice, but I am genuinely excited about the conference as a whole! (not my bits. I’m terrified of them.)
I think the judging panel did a good – if very difficult job – and have found a great range of papers with a very wide appeal. Chris Rhodes has blogged about the judging process here, and there’s some great advice in there for proposal writing in general.
I also found this post from Lex Rigby extremely interesting. I do love the openness of the librarian community, and I think posting an unsuccessful proposal like this, and getting useful feedback is a brilliant example of it. It’s useful in a number of ways, as it’s not only an example of a good proposal, it’s an example of a good proposal that didn’t make it because it wasn’t focussed quite right. That’s a really valuable thing to have out there, even if it just helps future proposers realise that they weren’t necessarily unsuccessful cos they’re awful and stupid and everyone hates them, but because they just didn’t quite fit the theme, or there was another proposal about that, or there were just too many good papers, and not enough time.
I would share my proposal – and will! After the conference. See, I took thewikiman’s advice , with the result that, not only was my proposal quite informal, it contained basically everything I’m going to say. So, in the interest of avoiding spoilers, I’ll post it after the conference, for anyone (anyone?) who’s interested.
It’s also going to be a great chance to meet up with loads of tweeps, some for the 1st time (like @FieldVole, who’s presenting in the morning). I’m finally going to get to meet @joeyanne! and @sarahjison! and get to see @woodsiegirl, @theREALwikiman, and @rhodescj again and those are just the people who have confirmed they’ll be there – I’m hoping to see many more (@walkyouhome? @annie_er?). I guess there might even be some people who aren’t on Twitter there! (in fact, I’d better hope there are, or I’ll be spending the afternoon sobbing quietly to myself in a computer room. Or attending the excellent looking elevator talks session. Or getting to hear the great afternoon papers. Hmm, was this supposed to be a bad thing?)
Although the conference is aimed at new professionals, it’s open to anyone, and the material could certainly be relevent at any stage of your career. And the more hands for me to hold, and nice smiles in the audience for me fasten onto desperately, the better! Also, as it’s in Sheffield, there’s a pretty good chance I’ll be able to hang round for a beer afterwards! yay!
You may have guessed, by the way, that blogging about the conference is partly a displacement activity, to stop me actually having to do any real work on my paper/workshop. ‘I’ve done something new profs related, can tick that off my list…’ well, I might be able to get away with that for today, but I am going to have to start some real work soon. I want to do some research for my paper on proving the value of peer networks, so watch out for a survey from me sometime soon. I promise it will be short and relatively painless, and you could end up with a starring role in my presentation! Who doesn’t want their name and story hideously mangled by a nervous presenter, eh? you lucky souls
Yesterday I was in Oxford with the Archives Hub’s Jane Stevenson, giving some training on EAD and the Hub’s new EAD Editor to Oxford University staff. This was only my second visit to Oxford, and I was really pleased that we had some time to wander around the city. I took quite a few photos that have mainly (due to me and my phone camera both being a bit shoddy) came out in sillhouette, but they’re quite nice silhouettes, so that’s all ok
The training itself was at the Osney One building, out at Osney Mead, and overlooking the (slighly swollen) Isis, and the spring sunshine encouraged us to take all our breaks on the balcony, where I spotted 2 moor-hens and 4 ducks. This pleased me greatly – as people no doubt noticed when I interrupted converstaions to shout ‘ooh! duck!’.
The day started with a minor setback, as we discovered that the pcs in the teaching room were equipped with IE6, which isn’t supported by our EAD Editor. There was some discussion while the Editor was being designed about whether or not to support IE6, as we knew that excluding it might cause issues for some users. As it transpired, however, IE6 simply couldn’t support the functionality we needed, so we designed for more recent browsers only.
This caused a temporary panic, until we were reassured with promises of an additional 2 laptops, with suitable browsers. This meant 4 laptops between 8 delegates for the hands-on Editor sessions, which actually worked out very well, delegates collaborating very effectively. Jane had given a brief introduction to xml and EAD, and we got delegates to use an xml editor to creat an EAD description in the morning, before allowing them to experience the luxury of the EAD Editor We do enjoy showing the Editor off, as we’re very proud of it, and the delegates seemed impressed. Basically, it allows you to create EAD descriptions without having to know anything about tags or attributes – you enter your data in the boxes, and the Editor does the rest.
As always, I enjoyed getting out and meeting people, and we had a really nice group who were very enthusiastic, and asked lots of interesting and intelligent questions (which I frequently had to refer to Jane). One of the things that working stands and doing training sessions has done for me is to completely conquer the fear of saying ‘I don’t know’ – quite possibly because no-one has ever answered that statement with ‘Why?’. I think that might break me… But I’d much rather that people got the right information, even if it damages my reputation as an omniscient and infallible
One regret? I wish I’d confronted @laurajwilkinson while I had chance, and demanded to know if she was, indeed, herself – I thought I’d recognised her from Twitter, but by the time I found out that she was who I thought she was, the delegates were arriving and my chance had passed I can confirm, however, that she is a dab hand with vga leads