Charleston Conference

I’m attending the Charleston Conference for the first time. I’m excited to be visiting a city I’ve never been to before. My pre-conference workshop on Excel is being taught by Colorado librarians including the inestimable Chris Brown.

Downside I foresee for this conference: vendor capture. What I mean is, a focus on sales pitches and corporate artifice. Salespeople in dark suits swooping around everywhere. I’ve been told I can get in on some good meals if I sign up with vendors. I’d rather go out and explore the city during meal times.

The best, most useful library conference I’ve attended is the one with the least amount of vendor capture: NASIG. Lots of great sessions, great people, it’s informal, and vendors aren’t running the show. ER&L is, in my opinion, too vendor heavy. I went to IUG once; it was fine during the regular conference but the preconference (with registration charge and extra hotel day) proved to be mainly sales pitches for add-ons, not info on what we already had. ALA is incredibly overwhelming, even if you live in the city where it’s being held, and the vendor expo feels like a weird sort of meat market.

We’ll see how it goes next week. Hope to pick up some good info. At the very least I will get some warm weather, see palm trees and maybe encounter a few of the Eastern birds I’ve been missing since I moved to Colorado. Charleston has cardinals, right?