Sunday, May 07, 2006

A Last, Lingering Look...

The last presentation I attended was about the NACO Funnel - a tornado, or a sweet from the Northwest Montana fair, as far as I knew. Ah, but no! Name Authority files are the underpinnings, the all - inclusive authority, the foundation upon which the giant Library of Congress bases its reputation as the Big Know-It-All of libraries. And it does so with help from some of the librarians at the conference, who have taken special training to be able to create Name Authority Files and funnel them to the Big One.
Now, don't run screaming from the room, but I found this rather fascinating. Also slightly comical to be listening to the serious discussion of an extra "x" in a format of lines of print with lots of numbers and undecipherable scrambled letters. But after awhile, I kind of got it. Enough to be able to explain it to my roommate on the long drive home.
So the reasons to attend a conference for someone like me, a librarian of five measly months standing? They include:
1. Being served by professionals in the Missoula Public Library. They were great; I want to grow up to be them;
2. Meeting people who helped me get over being intimidated by being a newcomer, and making me feel welcome and valued for the skills I did have, instead of the skills I didn't have - yet;
3. Gaining background on my new profession, and encouraging me to learn more about librarianship - and showing me how to do that;
4. Developing relationships with other librarians, and especially my colleague from the Whitefish Library, and roommate at the conference, Skeeter Johnston;
5. Renewing my friendship with Missoula - and conquering the M trail three times!
So, in parting, I leave you with some photos to remind you of a great conference in a great town:

Fishing under the Madison Street Pedestrian Bridge;
a view from the "M";
"Charging Forward, " a sculpture in front of the Adams Center by Jay Laber (Blackfeet).

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