VALE/ NJ ACRL 2008 Conference Summary
Conference planners truly appreciate the over 100 responders who weighed in on the conference evaluation this year! Official attendance was 258.
This is a summary of the evaluations:
The Keynoter’s Address seems to have elicited a number of results divided between those who thought that Christopher Mackie’s talk was right on target with its assessment of the future and those who were overwhelmed by the technological aspects of the speech. Most respondents found him to be a good speaker and responsive to questions—especially in the follow-up session with him. Some of the respondents felt lost because they were not grounded in the terms he used and that he spoke at a level deeper than was comfortable for the listeners. Many more found Mackie to be interesting and thought-provoking. There were a few suggestions that VALE should follow up with other sessions on the topic.
Ratings for all posters averaged between a low of 3.3 and a high of 4.2 on the 5 point scale, where 1 was ‘least helpful’ and 5 was ‘most helpful’. There were a few comments on the cramped space. Respondents did appreciate having more time to see the posters than in the past. It is probably a good idea to keep the posters available for both time slots—before the keynoter and after lunch. Poster presenters may contact any Planning Committee member to get the ratings for their presentation.
A few respondents who did not attend a lunch table discussion seemed to be at loose ends until the first afternoon breakout. Most were grateful to have the opportunity to participate in “extra” sessions. The quality of the sessions seems to be getting better, more useful, more informative, more impressive. Average Ratings for the breakouts ranged from a low of 3.6 to a high of 5.0 on the 5 point scale. The collaborative theme is one that was really appreciated by all who attended. All of the breakouts received excellent ratings. It’s great to hear that there are too many good choices. Breakout presenters may contact any Planning Committee member to get the ratings for their session.
Lunch Table Discussions:
Some respondents chose to use the time to “schmooze” rather than to take part in topical discussions. Most who did choose a discussion table found them to be great for discussion, but not always on topic. There is a need for good facilitators at every table. Most found the discussions to be engaging. Table discussion facilitators may contact any Planning Committee member to get the ratings for that table.
Next Conference Ideas:
The ideas are divided rather evenly among technologies, IL instruction tips, marketing, the library as place, and professional development.