Kelly Kobiela, Ohio Northern University, TEDSIG Co-Chair
The Continuing Education Award allowed me to attend IUG (Innovative Users Group) 2015. I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend IUG this year. Though OhioLINK and ALAO offer me a lot of opportunities locally to meet with and talk to other librarians, IUG is the only conference I have been to that has as many sessions specifically for Systems Librarians.
Sessions like the Systems Forum and Load Profile Forum are extremely important for finding out what other libraries are doing. For example, this year there was a great discussion about hosted vs turnkey vs software only for the system. Even though we are already on a hosted system, I found the discussion very informative for the reasons libraries choose what they do. It also reinforced that my decision to go hosted was the right one for us.
We only went to Sierra last summer, so I was able to go to multiple sessions specifically about Sierra and learn things that I can actually implement now. I knew that I could access the SQL tables, but I had not had a chance to poke around with all of that after moving to Sierra before our school year started. So attending a session about how to access and use the SQL tables was amazingly helpful to me.
I was the only person from Ohio Northern University that went to IUG so I also attended a few sessions that would be helpful for other librarians to gather some good new information. For example, I attended a session on Regular Expressions and how to use those to do catalog cleanup, which is something our Cataloging Librarian is constantly working on.
Lastly, IUG 2015 was great for networking. I feel like I am really getting to know a lot of librarians in Ohio, but I don’t get the opportunity to talk to people outside of Ohio much. At IUG, I talked to librarians from all across the United States and even international librarians. I also had the opportunity to meet some public librarians in Ohio. Attending the EGL-IUG Birds of a Feather session was a great way to make a starting position for networking to happen back here in Ohio.
Overall, IUG 2015 was a very successful conference for me. I learned a lot and made a lot of connections. I am very thankful to the ALAO Professional Development Committee for granting me an Honorable Mention Award that allowed me the opportunity to attend.