Yesterday we started on Code4Lib's main conference which is held in a single-track format. We all sit in a large hotel ballroom and everyone at the conference watches the same presentations. The idea being that some of these presentations will be directly related to your work and some won't, but watching all of them gives you a larger perspective and the ability to work better in your library.
Right from the start yesterday there was exhortation to do better - in the form of a keynote from Chris Bourg. It's well worth reading in no small part because it offers suggestions and not just ranting. Chris said she wanted to "equip the choir" not preach to it and I appreciate that sentiment.
Less encouragingly, there were questions about how to get indifferent management to care more about doing better and there never seems to a good answer to that question. I don't even have any pithy commentary to make about it, sorry.
There was also a great deal of frustration expressed about the obsession with the "pipeline problem". Talking pipeline lets people ignore the women, people of color, disabled people and queer people right in front of them, in favor of talking about imaginary people who will be there "someday".
The Q&A and discussion following Chris' keynote was intense and distressing and it's unfortunate that these discussions create so much emotional labor for the people most affected by the issues. I understand the "people are talking and that's good!" attitude, but I don't really feel it.
After Chris' talk there were a number of great presentations. If you're looking for recommendations on slides to review, I found these to be particularly interesting:
- Airing Our Dirty Laundry: Digital Preservation Gaps and How We're Fixing Them
- Systems thinking: a practical field guide
- Using Glitch to Make Apps with Library Collections
Now for coffee and day 3 (which is really day 2 because Code4Lib indexes at 0 but whatever)!