Thank you to the organizers and attendees at LILAC for such a terrific conference. There are a couple of things that make a conference particularly good in my mind and LILAC had them all. Here's a breakdown:
1. The People: Everyone we met was wonderfully kind, welcoming, and interested to hear about Champlain and share what they were doing at their own institutions. The degree of transparency and collegiality at LILAC was really unique. There is a sense that these are librarians that share and collaborate openly and often. This never fails to impress me.
2. The Tracks: as I mentioned to Steven Bell, I prefer conferences that have a structure you can follow. It was wonderful to look at sessions in the context of their track to get a fuller sense of what to expect and the way in which information literacy would be explored. Although there were many interesting sessions, the break down into tracks helped me distinguish between sessions that were interesting and ones that might be more applicable to my work.
3. The Keynotes: In two and a half days, there were four keynotes and they were all incredible. All of the speakers (Melissa Highton, Conor Galvin, Patricia Iannuzzi, and Leslie Burger) were thought provoking in their own ways. Two things were particularly noteworthy: first, that the speakers all referred back to one another's lectures, referring to points the other had made but more so elaborating or explaining their own take on the issues. Terrific. Second, the speakers were a part of the conference. They attended sessions and spoke to delegates. I don't always see this at conferences and it emphasized that feeling of collegiality.
4. Tending to our needs: This might sound silly but it really does make a difference to have tea and welshcakes, time to chat, a coat room that is monitored so you feel good about leaving your luggage, and people who can answer your questions in a central location. My colleauge, Cinse, was especially fond of the Welshcakes.
5. Special events: We attended two events in special locations. The Networking evening at Caerphilly Castle and a more formal dinner at the National Museum of Wales. Both events were lovely from the food to the music to the open bar! It was wonderful, especially to a group of foreigners, to be in two locations that are significant to the region. I loved both evenings!
On top of all of this, as if it weren't enough, we were shocked to be awarded the CILASS Award for Information Literacy and Inquiry Based Learning. To be given an award like this was an incredible honored. As you can tell, I thought there were so many wonderful sessions. We are so grateful to be recognized amongst such company.
Thank you to everyone who made LILAC the wonderful experience it was. I hope we can join you again!