Before anything else, I’m going to categorically say that this conference is the best conference I have ever attended in my career as a librarian. It has lived up to the hype that my librarian friends have repeatedly told me ever since I assumed this position at LCC. They all told me “You better attend the Charleston Conference even if you have to take out a 2nd mortgage.” Why so? Well, this is the only conference where a librarian in charge of collection development and management, acquisitions, and serials in academic libraries get to converge, discuss, and network with each other. Add to that is the fact that vendors and publishers—CEOs, Presidents listen to us and demand that we tell them what we want about their products so that they can make it better. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they feed all the participants breakfast, lunch and dinner and coffee in between.
Anyway, I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the history of the Charleston Conference. In 1989, a group of acquisitions librarians (actually, they were only 2 of them), in Charleston got together led by Katina Stauch because they felt at that time that the needs of the “back-end” part of the library are not being met by ALA or any library conference out there. The next year, they had the 1st Charleston conference attended only by 20 librarians. Now 31 years later, it has since grown into a conference attended by 1,458 librarians and over 40 vendors and publishers.
In my next post, I’ll let you in on the sessions I've attended.