Next week will be my first SAA conference. Actually, it will be my first professional conference of any kind. I wish I could say something cool and cynical like “You know, I am just going for the beef brisket,” but I can’t. Truth is, I am really looking forward to it. In fact, on a scale of 1 to 10, my excitement level goes to 11.
Here are some reasons why:
1) Archivists, archivists, archivists I cannot wait to be immersed in a large group comprised almost solely of professional archivists and records managers. This is partly because I think it will give me a feeling of “I am now truly an archivist.” My wife put this into words the best when she said I am excited for the conference because I “will be around people who use the same terms and know the same acronyms, and will get your nerdy jokes.”
2) The continuing education of Lance I am looking forward to continuing my education outside of the formal school setting. My MSI program gave me some great tools, but I now want to see what professionals in the field have to say about the topics we learned in school. For me, digital preservation and web 2.0 technologies hold a special interest and I will be attending several sessions on those topics. Will they reinforce what I learned in school, or is the view different from the “trenches?”
3) Professional Engagement I will also be doing stuff at the conference that will provide me with several opportunities for shameless self-promotion to engage with other professionals. I have been providing some logistical support for the Research Forum, which will take place on Tuesday the 11th. This will feature posters and presentations highlighting research in the field. I have had a chance to see the proposals and the presentation look very interesting, I am sure I will get a lot out of it. Also, I will be presenting at the student poster sessions on a disaster planning internship I had last summer at ICPSR. I think these activities will help me meet more people, as I am absolutely terrible at networking. My awkward attempts at handing out my business cards are always good for a laugh or two.Image courtesy of Flickr member athomson / CC-BY-SA
4) Austin I have only been to Texas once and it was a while ago with the family. I am really looking forward to exploring the city and seeing how Texas does a college town. I joked earlier about going just for the brisket, but I do plan on seeing what all the fuss is about, as well as checking out as much as I can of Austin (excepting the bats, not cool). The extras like going to a baseball game and attending the gathering for Michigan alumni will round out the social aspects of the trip [apparently there will be no Michigan reception, booooo ~ ed.]. By the way, for those also going to the conference, I have found the Austin Is for Archivists blog very helpful.
5) #saa09 I plan on going nuts with the web 2.0 at the conference. Hopefully, I will have time for some short posts here. I will definitely make time for numerous tweets from both my Twitter and TheNewArchivist Twitter as well.
There you have it. Like I said, I hope to add some more from the conference, but even if I don’t get a chance, I will write a post-conference-post and tell you if it lived up to my exciting expectations. Oh yeah, I will also give my review of Texas BBQed beef brisket.