Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Presenting at a conference

It's been a while since my last post. A hectic couple of months but I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I won't bore you with the ins and out outs of what I've been up to but I will try to do better. I've been talking about presenting at a conference for years and tried my hand at it again. I feel it wasn't brilliant but practice makes perfect and you'll never know unless you try. I presented our in-house request management system alongside my colleague at the 2018 Interlend Conference in Birmingham. The original attraction was that the conference was local but it wasn't until our proposal was accepted that I realized I hadn't really expected it to be. The prospect was quite scary. On the 25th June when I attended, there were over 80 delegates and unsurprisingly only one other NHS delegate aside from my colleague and myself. Unfortunately, due to service needs I was only able to stay for the keynote speech and my presentation.

The Keynote speaker was CILIP President, Ayub Khan, and he talked about "Rethinking the Library" address how user needs have changes and the responsiveness of libraries. I especially liked that he discussed the need to demonstrate value based on user benefits and feedback rather than just statistics. What I took away from the conference was priceless especially as I was there for only a short time. By sharing the system with colleagues from other sectors, I was able to see it from their perspective and access other development needs and ways in which the system might be evaluated. I'm grateful for the opportunity to test the waters at Interlend and I can confirm that there is probably nothing more daunting than speaking to a room full of information professionals. I am not quite ready to try conference presenting again but I'm certainly not one to encourage others to do anything I am unwilling to. Now that I have faced the fear and crossed the bridge, I'll see where the road takes me.