Monday, March 19, 2012

DrupalCon Denver v. Computer In Libraries

I arrived in Denver this evening, ready to join the DrupalCon attendees starting tomorrow. Unfortunately -- for at least these past two years in which I've been attending -- DrupalCon North America coincides with the Computers In Libraries conference. I miss CIL, but Drupal is complex enough that I need to attend as many DrupalCamps, Conferences, and meetups as possible. CIL usually leaves me wanting to do a million different things, but doesn't get as much into the details of how I can get them done. It also doesn't connect me with people who are professional web innovators outside of the library sphere. Given the "echo chamber" concers we've heard from thought leaders in libraries, that seems to be an important factor in DrupalCon's favor.
Drupal offers the framework, the toolkit, the community, and the skillset to build, support, and continue to iterate & improve on a library's digital branch. As a result, a lot of librarians find themselves making the same hard choice I did & many choose DrupalCon. The library "birds of a feather" sessions pack the rooms that they are held in at DrupalCons because so many librarians now attend. (This year, we're even having a library luncheon hosted by the amazing folks at Anythink libraries.)
It's unfortunate that so many librarians who would make up a prime CIL constituency (not to mention a potential pool of presenters) are forced to decide between the two. Maybe it was just bad timing and maybe in coming years the folks at InfoToday (or whoever may be in charge of choosing the dates) can talk with the Drupal Association & make sure that the two conferences aren't in direct competition. (It may or may not be possible, I don't know, but it would certainly be nice.)

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