24 June, 2005

Rock on

The South African Online Online Users Group (SAOUG), Organisation of South African Law Libraries (OSALL) and Special Libraries and Information Services Group (SLIS) hosted a conference from 21-23 June at the CSIR Conference Centre in Pretoria/Tshwane. I was one of 200 delegates and one of only three from KwaZulu-Natal. Having returned home at about 11pm last night, it will be a day or two before my notes metamorphose into legible format but these are some of the highlights that immediately spring to mind.

Glenda's informal definition of knowledge management : data + organisation = managed information + application = managed knowledge

witnessing the swell of enthusiasm in the legal information sector as the potential of blogging was explained and ideas grew. A blog was created online during my presentation on The practical application of blog- and wiki- technology in the South African legal information community. Choosing a name for it was not difficult : see the work in progress, "Librarians Rock 2". Everyone present was encouraged to visit the weblog and add comments on the conference

the organisers had put a tremendous amount of forethought and hard work into the planning of the conference and the social highlight was the performance of Mercury Rising at the Barnyard Theatre, Menlyn - and the delight with which one colleague commented "the younger generation are speechless - they're sitting there while we older ones are dancing and singing along". The personal highlight of this highlight was the performance of The Great Pretender - I may never recover from the goosebumps. One of the exhibitors confessed the following morning to immediately going out and buying a three-CD set of Freddie Mercury's hits

Clem Sunter's talk on Games Foxes Play - and the surprised delight on his face when the audience rose to the Chair's request and joined in . . "we will, we will, rock you"

the warm welcome from the organising committee, the hospitality of my hosts and the friendship of so many colleagues from around the country

Today signalled my return to the office with a head full of ideas and good intentions. Emails and phone-calls suggesting collaborative projects have already started coming in as a direct result of the conference. What a stimulating field in which to work.