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Code4lib 2010: Southern Hospitality

I recently returned from a trip to Asheville, North Carolina for this year's Code4lib conference. Despite the unavoidable hiccups that some attendees experienced as they tried to head home from the conference, I believe that this year's conference was the most successful one that I happened to attend. If I'm right, I think this year had a record number of attendees, a record number of new attendees, and much tighter organization to make the new folks feel welcome.

The social activities were certainly more planned and organized than last year, which was a welcome change. While I certainly didn't mind hollering out to the crowd that I would be going to see some bands or to a particular restaurant like I had in previous years, it was nice to see other folks take the lead. The newcomer dinners seemed to go pretty well; the brews cruise and barbecue excursions went smoothly; and even the game(s) of Werewolf seemed to take a life of their own.

What of the program? Well, again, I was extremely happy with the way it turned out, personally. I spent the morning of the Monday preconference in the Solr blackbelt session led by Erik Hatcher from Lucid Imagination and Naomi Dushay from Stanford. During that afternoon, I helped out Dan Chudnov by bumbling through a demo of pymarc. The keynotes of both Cathy Marshall and Paul Jones were both delightfully thought provoking and whimsical.

In all, the sessions were pretty fantastic, but the following stuck out for me:

Finally, I believe that the Ask Anything session deserves its own treatment. The idea was to ask a roomful of people for help, advice, references, etc. on anything, and I think it largely worked. This session itself proved the vibrancy and strength of Code4lib: largely unstructured, highly social, and focused on mutual aid. I will spare you any comparisons to Rainbow Gatherings, but I'll say this much: I'm proud to be part of Code4lib, and I'd like to welcome you to next year's.


1 Comment

  • 💬 Roy Tennant at March 2, 2010, 10:16 UTC:

    Totally agree, Mark. I think this conference was the best yet. Dare I hope that it has merely raised a bar that we will continue raising?