When I applied to present at this conference, it seemed to be so far away as to be a distant pipe dream. However, it crept up on me and arrived with a vengeance. I’ll reflect on my presentation first. I’d done all the preparation, practicing whenever possible and discussing it with my mentor and following her advice. Still I felt unprepared and frankly terrified. I spoke to the chair of the room I was presenting in before I started and she was lovely and reassuring and my friend was sat front of centre. I started off a bit wobbly but soon got into it and judging from the feedback and Twitter, I did a great job. I’m so glad I put my hand up to leap out of my introverted comfort zone and I would recommend it to others.
Okay, so I’ve talked about me, what about the rest of the conference. The keynote speakers unsurprisingly were all amazing and inspiring, but I think I enjoyed Jane Cato’s presentation the most. After two days of hearing all these amazing presentations by high achievers, it was great to hear someone say “You’re great as you are” and not to feel compelled to change for others. It was a fitting end to a great conference. Other highlights were the library carpentry and DIY marketing workshops, which provided me with knowledge and skills which I will use in my future career in special libraries. The tools they used were all open source and we were also provided with links we could use to practice in our own time. I also enjoyed Reading between the wines, which was a presentation about pubic libraries targeting young professionals, by taking pop-up libraries to wine bars. Whilst I don’t think it would be appropriate where I’m working, it is such a good idea.
Despite the constant background worry of my upcoming presentation, I really enjoyed NLS8 and gained a great deal from it which I will take forward into my career.