Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Growing Evergreen 2010 International Conference

The Bibliomation team just got back from our first Evergreen conference in Grand Rapids, MI, and we are all very jazzed from it, very jazzed, indeed. As I said to my boss, our CEO, Mike Simonds, "This was the best conference I've ever attended." Sure, there was the usual stuff of conferences - the networking, the keynote speakers, the ice cream breaks .... But what really stood out as different was the overall sense of collective enthusiasm I experienced. Nobody (-okay, one person, but I'm not sure what she was doing there in the first place-) was down on the software. I heard no wet blanket, "Oh, why doesn't the system do this?" talk, something I've been listening to for YEARS now at every other ILS vendor conference I've attended over these past fourteen years as a professional librarian.

Taking Ownership
I've thought some on this and I think that the reason why this conference was so fantastically enjoyable was that everyone there seemed to get that we were all in this together. The "Us v. Them" mentality did not present itself during the three days that I participated in roundtable discussions, impromptu meetings, user programs, and casual conversations with my fellow attendees.

Also, I discovered that this open source ILS community is rife with some amazingly talented, inspired, passionate individuals, who seem to share the sensibility that united we stand so let's get together and put on a show. I saw no egos on display - everyone seemed REALLY cool. When I asked Mike Rylander of Equinox why he didn't seem to have an ego the size of Toledo, he laughed it off in that "Aw, shucks" way he and the rest of the Equinox crew have about them.

Get Involved
Librarians love to share. For many of us, that's why we got into the profession in the first place. I have never been prouder to be a librarian than I am right now. I love the fact that I can help shape this growing Evergreen community in meaningful ways. For instance, I have volunteered to serve on the Evergreen reports taskforce and the governing committee for the embryonic, but quickly evolving Evergreen Foundation. Both of these opportunities came out of this year's conference.

I cannot wait for Austin in 2011. I hope to see you there.
Jump in. The water is more than fine. It is outstanding!

Amy Terlaga
Assistant Director, User Services

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