A little rant based on a couple of the presentations I’ve seen here in Savannah. This mirrors several of the wrap-up posts I saw after Computers in Libraries earlier this spring.
I come to conferences first and foremost to get new ideas for services I can implement back home. I want to be able to talk to the people who are doing interesting and innovative things; to pick their brains to see how I can tweak what they’re doing to best serve my clientele. If it’s really relevant that I know something about your home institution tell me briefly, but I so don’t want to spend 15-minutes of a 55-minute presentation hearing about your home institution and your students! One bullet on one slide is all that should take.
Please tell me what you did, but just as importantly please tell me how I can do it! Where do I find the tools that you used, and is it something I should pursue, or is this something completely customized to your institution that I’ll never be able to implement?
So far nobody’s read their paper, which is great (please don’t ever do this at a conference, gentle reader), yet few of the presentations I’ve seen have really added a whole lot to the paper that’s printed in the proceedings :-(.
When you’re getting ready to present at a conference, please consider the type of presentation you enjoy the most, and try to make yours similar. I know some conferences are all about reporting the research, and while there is some of that here, I think most of us get more out of the sessions where we can take something away.
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