LILAC 2019 Conference part 1… in which our hero encounters a famous author, a purple notebook, and an inspirational keynote speaker

LILAC 19 part 1
Thank you to Health Education England who awarded me a bursary to attend this year’s LILAC conference. For those of you who haven’t heard of LILAC, it’s the annual information literacy conference for librarians and other information professionals, and quite honestly, it’s great.

So Day 1 is over, and I’m shattered, but buzzing with ideas and things to look up, think about, discuss with my colleagues, it’s a long list. The keynote speaker, Sandeep Mahal was brilliant. Just jaw droppingly, inspirationally brilliant. She talked about the importance of reading in the lives of children, about literacy (and information literacy) being key to them not spending their lives being behind, trying to catch up. She was fantastic, I wish you could have heard her. Maybe you did. Great, wasn’t it? One of the slides on Sandeep’s presentation had a very large picture of Neil Gaiman, and that quote. You know, the one all librarians love, about Google bringing back a million results and a librarian getting the right one… so… I tweeted Neil Gaiman to tell him an auditorium full of librarians was smiling at his famous quote, and… get this… he tweeted back! Neil. Gaiman. Tweeted. Back. Be still my geeky little heart. He wrote a book with Terry Pratchett, came up with Coraline, and American Gods, and well, he tweeted me back. Watch my lips- Neil Gaiman tweeted me back. Tomorrow is going to have to come up with something spectacular to beat that. Take a look at #LILAC19 to see tweets from the conference.


I don’t want you to think that’s all that happened, because the rest of the day was pretty cool too. I met up with people I know, and a few I didn’t, including my fellow bursary recipient, Jo McCrossland. We’ll be presenting about the conference at an upcoming Midlands and East networking day together, so watch this space. I attended a session on microteaching as a peer review tool (I can see applications for this in my everyday teaching life). I was introduced to a fabulous new technique for teaching source evaluation techniques with a funky mnemonic- IF I APPLY- which offers scope to consider the emotional aspects of resource appraisal, and their effect on bias. I’m already looking forward to discussing the uses of this in a healthcare library setting with my colleagues. The final session I attended (there were too many to list them all) addressed the benefits of reading for pleasure and its place in academic libraries. Directly applicable to our fiction collection and well-being reading group at George Eliot. Leisure reading improves mental well-being, empathy, creativity, and improves academic achievement. Essentially reinforcing every librarian’s innate belief that reading equals good. Actually, that last session was just too short, and could easily have lasted an hour.

Plus I got a funky purple notebook with rainbow edges.

Now I’m tired and I need to get ready for tomorrow’s excitement, so I’m signing off now. There’ll be more. Hopefully tomorrow, maybe next week. Depends which world renowned author I get to reply to my tweets tomorrow. Check out @Lisasparkle to find out.

Neil Gaiman!