The Carolina Consortium met at UNCG yesterday for its annual meeting and mini-conference. The most interesting program I caught was UNCG’s Tim Bucknall on “The Carolina Consortium OCLC Discovery Deal: an Oxford-Style Debate” featuring Angry Tim vs. Satisfied Tim. OCLC’s Chris Manriquez moderated. Angry Tim wore a black hat and spoke first; Satisfied Tim donned a white one. (The Consortium recently negotiated an OCLC deal after NC LIVE dropped OCLC at the beginning of 2015.) A good discussion with diverse viewpoints and experiences followed. Maybe Tim’s program will resurface at the Charleston Conference this fall.
I also enjoyed seeing BLINC friends (some are heads of collections or e-resources librarian), a former intern, and other friends from the two states.
The mini-conference included 8-minute lightning round presentations. I responded to the call for presenters with the proposed topic of “Are There Alternatives to Expensive Business Content?”
The intended audience would be heads of collection development, not business librarians. My topic was accepted and I began working on slides, based on personal experience negotiating deals with vendors, dealing with our declining budgets, and what I’ve learned from recent BUSLIB traffic and BRASS online discussions.
Right away I figured out that this topic was really much too big to cover in 8 minutes. So lesson one: plan or write-out your full lightning round before submitted it for consideration.
Usually I do fine with pacing and timing in a research workshop or conference program. But those events always include significant time for practice and active learning (for a class) or discussion and Q/A time (for a conference). Those activities provide flexibility in timing. There’s not really any flex time in a lightning round!
At the beginning of the talk, I told everyone I would only have time to define the unusual nature of business information, and then cover the hottest recent topics in business databases for NC LIVE, PASCAL (a South Carolina state-wide database package), and the consortium. The slides covering other categories of business content would be available through the secure part of the Carolina Consortium web site.
Lesson two: don’t plan on using the timer on your iPad if the iPad goes to sleep two minutes after setting the timer for eight minutes. Foolish mistake. My helpful colleague Beth Bernhardt helped me with timing after that.
The next lightning round was “A Follow-Up on UNC Charlotte’s eTextbook Program” by Liz Siler. Halfway through Liz’s presentation, the fire alarm sounded and we had to evacuate the building. (Contractors renovating the nearby food court probably tripped the alarm.) So that was the end of the lightning round segment of the mini-conference.