Michael Dyson got the ACRL 2007 National Conference off to a rousing start with a dynamic speech delivered preacher style (he did say he was also an ordained Baptist minister). Covering topics from literacy to hip-hop to Bill Cosby to American anti-intellectualism, Dyson reminded those in attendance that “they will inspire someone to go beyond what they hear in a class or read in a book to really learn something of value.” He believes we have a critical role to play in the higher education enterprise. He encouraged us to be the trojan horse in the room. He says we should leverage the stereotypes others have of us (polite, quiet, unopinionated, bookish, etc.) to get in the room with those in power, and then use that position to share what we really think and create positive change.
Mary Reichel announced the official attendance as 2,934, but she hoped that on-site registrants over the next few days would bring it over 3,000. But in any case it’s a record setting number. There are attendees from all 50 states, and a diverse group of countries. A high point of the conference for me so far is the conference bag. I’ve been taking my ACRL 2001 conference bag (Charlotte) to pretty much every conference I’ve attended since then. It was sturdy, durable and has a great selection of pockets. But the new bag reflects cultural and technological change. In addition to the pockets, it has a bottle holder and a cell phone pocket. I’m tempted to give up my old bag for this one. And the new one is much wider and can hold more stuff. It’s going to be a tough choice.
I’m not sure how much conference blogging ACRLog will offer. ACRL has a team of about 50 bloggers at the conference, but their reports are being posted at an official conference blog that is part of the virtual conference. Only registered attendees (either f2f or virtual conference) are able to access the virtual conference. But some of the bloggers may post their reports here as well. If there are not too many over the next few days, we’ll try to have some of that content after the conference. We are already getting photos on the flickr site (do a search on acrl2007). That’s another way to get a feel for the conference activity.