Saturday, I went to the Simmons GLIS Skill Share, and had a great time. I met up with my friend Jessamyn, and we attended a couple of sessions together and the excellent keynote by the way cool Jenna Freedman and Eric Goldhagen from Radical Reference.
This was the first "skill share" event that I have attended, and I really had no idea what to expect. It turned out to be a group of sessions presented by students (and teachers?) at Simmons, which in the case of the sessions I went to turned out to be very informative overviews of courses offered at the college. Now, this may not sound overly useful for someone who is not only not a Simmons GLIS student, but no longer a student at all (and I think Jessamyn is right that we were the only non-students in attendance), but I did come away with some new, and very useful, information.
I attended a session on Literacy and Services to Underserved Populations, which I was very interested in as this was my field before I became a librarian. I came away with some great info on the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS) and Talking Books, and a huge list of great literacy links (which will be posted in a day or two over at libraryland).
The keynote was an absolutely inspiring talk on Free/Open Source Software, and I left feeling like I want to DO SOMETHING to get computers and such software into the hands of people who may not be able to afford full computer set-ups (and everyone else, for that matter). So, yeah, now I need to install Linux (I may start small with Open Office, etc, on the new machine), and figure out how I can parlay my real loves, librarianship and OUTREACH, into a job that supports me. I am so glad that I still get excited by other people's humanistic ideas; it makes me realize that it was not a mistake for me to leave the corporate world (and also makes me realize that I am most likely doomed to be destitute).
Kudos to the organizers! I hope to see more events like this in the future.