This was the first time I had attended CALCON and I got a crash course in conference attendance. I will take many of these lessons with me as I attend future conferences.
I learned to bring a notebook and pen to each session. Apparently, presenters no longer provide print-outs of their slides. The slides are all available on the conference website. I also learned that bringing snacks is a good idea.
I learned that it may feel as if everyone else attended the conference with at least one friend or colleague. This can be intimidating, but ultimately everyone is at the conference to learn. When I made the effort to introduce myself, I met many interesting, nice librarians.
I learned the value of moving beyond my comfort zone when choosing sessions. The presentations that were most valuable to me were on topics of which I had little previous knowledge. Overall, I had a great time and the opportunity was invaluable. In order to get the most out of the experience, I had to move beyond my comfort zone.
I promoted to a supervisor position this past April. Because of this, I attended many of the sessions that were included in the Leadership track. I gained a lot of insight from both presenters and other attendees. There was information on how to supervise, how to hire new staff, and how to stay excited about a job that sometimes involves difficult conversations. Additionally, I left with many resources to continue learning on my own.
Overall, attending CALCON was a challenging and rewarding experience.