Tomorrow I leave for Louisville, Kentucky for the NASIG Conference. I’ve been to Louisville, but only in the “just passing through” variety. The Conference is packed, as always. Of all the conferences I attend, I frequently get more out of this one than any other. Maybe because it’s focused. We’re all there because we deal with continuing resources (i.e. journals, series, serials, magazines, newspapers, etc.) in some way shape or form.
NASIG is unique in that it doesn’t matter what your role is in the continuing resources world. Vendors and all kinds of librarians from all types of libraries (including administrators) suspend the war for about 3 days each year and sit down to discuss the pertinent issues affecting all of us. There is no “us versus them” at NASIG. Our ultimate focus is on providing access to materials in the best way possible for the user. Sure, there are user groups for various integrated library systems, electronic resources management modules, software, etc., but they aren’t the focus of the conference by any means. They’re kind of a side note for an hour or two here and there. We’re not there as vendors or librarians; we’re all there as “serialists.”
The other truly unique thing about NASIG is that it’s casual dress. Like jeans/shorts and t-shirt casual. It’s all part of our history of holding conferences on college/university campuses in the middle of June without air conditioning. Even though we’ve moved into hotel settings now and left the academic setting behind, the casual dress code has survived. It does make it hard to pick out the vendors versus the librarians when everyone is wearing past NASIG conference t-shirts and jeans.
This year I’m leading one of those user/discussion group sessions. I think that’s a price you pay for knowing someone on the Program Planning Committee (gee, thanks, B). Oh well. I don’t have to give a presentation or sit on a panel, just facilitate. I can do that (I hope). I’m also, as mentioned in a previous post, a mentor for a new attendee this year. I’m looking forward to meeting her. I’m feeling like I actually have enough experience and knowledge after 5 years that I can help a new person along. It’s a nice feeling.
I’m also looking forward to seeing my friends, some of which I haven’t seen since last June. B and I are rooming together this year (saves money), and we have plans to meet up with our friends when the conference meetings are over and go out and explore Louisville in the evenings. And do some bourbon tasting (because, apparently, it’s one of those things to experience in Louisville). Should be fun. Louisville, be warned, you are about to be inundated by librarians out to have a good time. We’ll learn during the day, but by night, we do like to relax and have some serious fun.
Now back to packing.