Voices in the profession and conferences
Over my career in libraries I have been a regular on the library conference circuit. I've been really fortunate that I thrive in conference settings. I love hanging out with other GLAMR folk, until I run out of steam and need to recharge before heading back into the over-stimulating, beautiful mess, that is a big library conference.
I've met so many wonderful people over the years. In fact, some of my dearest friends are people I have met at conferences. Library conferences are filled with smart, fascinating and incredibly stylish people. People I admire, who are willing to talk and share, not only the wonderful but also spectacular failures.
Lately, I am seeing and hearing more people willing to confront the ugly. Voices who challenge the western construct of our cultural institutions, entrenched in privilege, where many have become complacent. These conversations are vital, otherwise our institutions will continue to alienate and never be inclusive, despite what we claim.
It's wonderful to have more diversity in the people shaping and influencing the thinking going on in the sector. Our profession is the better for it and our conferences move beyond being non-critical echo chambers, to events that challenge, inspire and ignite passions.
If you are attending a conference. I encourage you to not only go and listen to the big name keynotes. Go and see that person that you've been following on twitter for a while and you've thought to your self - damn, I like the way they think! I'd like to meet them.
Yours, in kindness, respect and compassion.