Written By Martin Chandler, Master of Information Student
The iSchool’s 2017 Student Conference was a rousing success, with two full days of talks, workshops, and posters discussing the Information and Museum fields. From big data to LARPing, exploding museums to convergence, students shared their learning and research, and discussed the big ideas we all face on a day-to-day, month-to-month, and year-to-year basis.
My own role in the conference was one of marketing and promotion. I was responsible for poster design (a duty I have some experience with) and social media promotion (something I knew little about). I was happy to play with pictures to make something interesting that would capture the spirit of the conference: Canada Now is a Canada we’re none to certain about, as we disrupt the past and activate the future. I had one image in reserve to use – one I was particularly delighted by: three pineapples painted red, white, and red – but alas, there was never quite an appropriate time to use them. Such is the creative life, that your darlings must lie forgotten.
As I mentioned, social media marketing was a new world for me, and I tried to strike a balance between spreading information, while not harassing too much. It was an interesting balance to strike, and hopefully it was well reached. Note: if it wasn’t well struck, please let me know!
Once the conference kicked off, my work began in earnest. I was charged with attending as many sessions as I could (most of them, though we had a few concurrent sessions), and live-tweeting. I did my research on this – mostly reading the previous year’s live-tweets – and decided to up the game by really engaging with the content that the presenters presented. It was an exciting experience, though the Luddite in me was cringing at my own constant phone use. Still, I tweeted as much as I could, and I think represented the talks well (check @iStudentConfTO to see what I was up to).
On Friday evening, we were treated to a brilliant keynote by Ian E. Wilson (pictured). He discussed the past, present, and possible future of libraries and archives, and though he didn’t directly address museums or the other concentrations, much of what he said was applicable to all. A post-talk reception allowed attendees to engage with the presenters and our keynote speaker, over the delights of assorted refreshments.
Saturday morning I continued my live tweeting, and by the end we were all ragged but pleased with the outcome. The presenters gave us much to mull over, and though I’m still in recovery – from the lack of rest and the schoolwork to catch up on – I’m looking forward to organizing it all again next year. Being the only first year on the committee, I’ve been warned that it’s in my hands now.
As a final wrap-up, we held a post-conference pub night, where we were able to discuss the presentations – as well as other iSchool-related issues – with a few of the incoming students who attended the event. They were a keen group, and I’m looking forward to working with them next year.