Buffy Hamilton saying hi to us at TLA 2013
Like many students, my perception (and misconception) of a librarian involved helping me find books. After joining the EasyBib team and attending the TLA 2013 conference last week in Ft. Worth, Texas I have learned just how wrong I was.
I walked into the exhibitor arena and was blown away by the massive room and number of people in attendance. There were book publishers, database companies, educational technology companies, like us, and many more. The general atmosphere of friendly collaboration had people sharing not only ideas and suggestions but the free chocolate too.
Keynote sessions included an inspirational talk by J.R. Martinez about overcoming his unique challenges, the thought provoking Dan Ariely on decision making, and Neil Gaiman closing out the conference with a speech that had the audience in a standing ovation. Furthermore, authors from Scholastic, Random House and HarperCollins came out to talk about and sign their books.
More than the size of the room, number of people or great giveaways, the quality of the attendees had me excited about the future of education and information literacy. Working for an education technology company, I had long retired my childhood views of my elementary school librarian, but the individuals I met at TLA 2013 molded an even newer perception of the modern librarian.
Today’s modern librarians are on the cutting edge of education and information technology. Librarians are rewriting the rules of when and how we use technology to access information in the benefit of both students and their colleagues alike.
They use Twitter to stay connected and informed while buzzing from one event to the next. If they missed Mike Eisenberg’s presentation, they could catch important key points like, “Information literacy is as important in the 21st century as reading and writing,” as Mary Woodard tweeted.
— Mary Woodard (@MaryWoodard) April 27, 2013
TLA 2013 proved to me that although librarians and educators face challenges, their spirit and enthusiasm for learning, collaboration and innovation have proved them an irreplaceable resource. As the conference drew to a close and I prepared to head home, I knew that as an educational technology company, EasyBib must continue to live up to the same high standards today’s modern librarians are setting for themselves.
Thanks to everyone who stopped by our booth to share your love of Easybib with us. The feeling is mutual!
Eli Rothschild is the Texas School and Library Representative for EasyBib and ResearchReady. You can reach him at eli[at]imagineeasy.com