This conference was a positive experience on a variety of levels. The first, of course was to go and gather a great deal of information about librarians involved with the technical/computer side of our profession. I have a lot of ideas and new ways of contributing to the strength of the library system, specifically from the standpoint of web development, learning opportunities, and, to some extent, the general method by which libraries can remain interesting and desirable places to visit in the coming years.
The second thing that IL2009 allowed me to do was to meet and find middle ground with librarians from, literally, all over the world. There were, of course, lots of librarians from them Mountain West and the Pacific Coast, but they also came from places like Harvard University, and even as far away as other countries. Through interacting with these new people, I was able to see both the differing changes that libraries of various types face, and the similarities of concerns that unite us.
I also found it useful to see some of the "big stars" in the library and IT world, such as Vint Cerf from Google and Paul Holdengraber from the New York Library. Both of these guys are seriously smart, and have many inspiring things to say.
Getting to know Josh Hanagarne, one of my co-workers, was also a big bonus. I think that, so often, we only know each other in a limited and somewhat one-dimensional way. It's important, I think, to go beyond that surface level of acquaintance. It builds a stronger library system. Each person who works here has many skills and interests, and few of them come out in the general pursuit of our daily tasks. Giving us the opportunity to find out more about each other, and be enriched by discussing topics we may never have done at work, is a valid and important goal.
Finally, I had never been to that part of California. Attending IL2009 let me see things like Fisherman's Wharf and the Monterey Aquarium on my lunch hours and after the conference finished. Anything work-related that allows you to watch sea lions chase gulls in the Pacific, during dinner no less, can't be considered a bad thing.
Thanks for sending me, SLCPL!