This weekend was spent at the Lighting the Future joint School Library Association/School Libraries Group/Youth Libraries Group conference and what an exhausting and interesting weekend it was. One of the first highlights for me was listening to Prof. Stephen Heppell opening the conference and astounding us with all the possibilities there are out there for creating an exciting, personalised learning future for young people. I have heard Stephen speak on many occasions but there's always something new to hear.
My own 'appearance' was later in the day and I was slightly nervous to be on a stage with Jonathan Douglas (NLT) and Dave Coplin (Microsoft) but it seemed to go well ......luckily I am rarely lost for words and the subject of new technologies is of course very close to my heart.
Planned barbecue became an indoor one due to the inclement weather and after it we were treated to storytelling and poetry from Liz Weir, John Agard, Atinuke, Alec Williams and Tony Mitton. They were all fantastic but I have to say that Atinuke stood out for me, despite appearing last she had the audience in the palm of her hand.
The group session on Saturday morning chaired by Simon Mayo was very interesting with many a tallying call heard and I loved Aiden Chambers decision that a group of librarians should be called a liberation! I attended a few workshops that day, Nicola McNee's on new media, Adam Lancaster's on the subject of tracking progress and Nikki Heath's on working with public libraries and enjoyed them all but the best thing about any conference like this is the chats that go on in between sessions I think. It's always great to be with like minded people and share ideas. Morris Gleitzman's after dinner speech told us about his life and ended with a wonderful quote about librarians being the storykeepers.
All in all it was a learning and chatter packed weekend and I'm very much looking forward to next year's SLA conference in Belfast. (This is only a brief blog post because I was tweeting most of the weekend so more detail can be found on the Storify stream for conference, produced by John Iona).