Last week NTRLS coordinated the first-ever North Texas Regional TechNet Conference for library staff members and supporters.
Keynote speaker Barbara Galik, Executive Director of Cullom-Davis Library at Bradley University in Peoria (IL), opened the event with a presentation about Second Life. Of the 20 separate sessions presented during the rest of the day, each participant had time to attend four. One participant commented that deciding which sessions to attend was especially hard since almost every topic each time-period related "either to my work or my interests or both!" Participants also spent time visiting with exhibitors, meeting kindred spirits from other types of libraries and generally expanding their tech-networks.
Exhibitors represented companies from coast to coast (CA to NY) and even from another country! Having Canadian company Insignia Software as an exhibitor and keynote session sponsor prompted staff to refer to the event as "our international conference." We welcomed to the exhibit hall some companies which had never before participated in a library-oriented conference plus several companies which are a core part - and constant supporters - of the library world.
Many positive comments have been received, both in writing and in person, and we've not only welcomed constructive criticism but produced plenty of our own. Several people have let us know already that they're looking forward to next year's conference and wish some of their friends and colleagues had attended this one with them.
The good news is that there WILL be a TechNet 2009 and, thanks to everyone's participation, patience, praise and critiquing, we'll be able to improve and build on the success of TechNet 2008.
By the way... if you work with children or youth in a library setting, you may want to register soon for the next North Texas Regional conference: CYC 2008, the second annual Children and Youth Librarians conference for North Texas library staff and supporters. For information about attending and/or exhibiting at that conference, visit http://www.cyc2008.com/ .