Sunday, June 27, 2010

Serendipity

One of the things about conferences that you can never plan for is the serendipitous moments that are often far more valuable than the planned sessions on your schedule. Today I walked out of the Will Shortz keynote speech planning to kill time for awhile and noticed a sign for the Learning Round Table's Training Showcase. I don't know if this event was on the schedule or not, but if it was I missed it. However, as someone who does a lot of staff training, particularly lately, the title caught my eye so I wandered over, planning to just do a quick walk around the tables and then go on my way.

Instead of my drive-by browsing, I got what was definitely the most useful thing I did all day. I talked to several of the people staffing the tables (a mix of publishers, other librarians, and consultant types) and got a great example of a program that I might try a version of at work, some information about a possible professional development opportunity for myself, and an interesting chat with a publisher setting some books I might recommend to my boss that we buy. Then to top it all off, I won a door prize as well. I'm even thinking of joining the Learning Round Table as a result of the event.

This was also delightful proof that sometimes it pays to be lazy, because my original plan was scrapped mostly because it required a walk to another building, while this event was right where I happened to be anyway. If I had stuck to my pre-set schedule I would never have found this hidden gem of an offering, and would have considered it a mostly wasted day.

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