The day dawned with the reminder of the tweetup the night before. A night which had ended mere hours earlier with the last of us (including my room mate and myself) leaving the bar at 1:30 (meaning we arrived back at our room at 2am, before checking the hashtag and reading the tweets until 3am).
Yet somehow it was now morning and I had awoken before my alarm, stood, showered, had several glasses of water before wandering off to return my hire car. So, a slow breakfast in Brunswick Mall, followed by a bus ride back to town and a nice chewy disprin and I was all set to hit the tours.
Theoretically I was supposed to go the the convention center and register first in order to get my tickets for the tours. But I was on the same side of the river as my first tour and the conference venue was across the bridge. So, I took a risk and decided that the likelihood of being refused entry to a library tour because I had a lack of ticket was approaching nil. I mean, other than librarians who is going to try and crash a library tour?
(spoiler alert) I was right, no one asked for my ticket.
My first tour was QUT and this was the highlight of the tours for me in terms of finding things I could adapt to my own library. Albeit I would need to increase my budget by several orders of magnitude in order to approach the right budget for the quality of the furnishings and quantity of hardware they have provided for their students. The librarian giving me my tour had worked in a school library herself so was wonderfully helpful in pointing out the pertinent parts of their recent renovations.
Plus, there was some very good information about their Study Well web service, which will be quite useful for some of my students (the assignment timeline calculator for example and citewrite)
Oh, side note: I was the only person to turn up for this tour. I was standing near the circ desk about to announce I was here for the tour (while looking around for people who looked like librarians) when I was approached by the campus library manager who suspected I was not one of her students and was therefore here for the tour.
Which means, I obviously look like a libraryman. (beards seem quite popular with librarymans this conference. More so than I have noticed at previous library events.)
Next up was the Public Library in Brisbane Square. It is certainly a fancy place. Book returns via conveyer belt (albeit by barcode not RFID). The big lightbulb moment here was a vending machine full of pens, pencils, notebooks and earbuds. That would go down very well in my library. Almost everything else they did though was too big and too bright to work in a small school library which is dsperately trying to escape the gravitational pull of the early 80s.
My last port of call was the State Library of QLD, this was basically just library porn for me. especially as our tour guide added a stacks tour on top of the official tour of reading rooms and nice new architecture. To top it off, they had a small exhibit on the Lindsays so after the tour I went back into the library to look at etchings of naked ladies consorting with fauns and cartoon drawings of angry koalas wearing hats.
This done, it was off to the welcome drinks, some socialising around the trades hall and then at the new grads' dinner.