I'm here at the CIL/ISE2006 conference (after a long drive down New Jersey and through Maryland/Delaware). The hotel room is not ready, despite notices that they'll be available after 3. The promised wifi for conference bloggers is very limited, and too many people are hogging the chairs in the area where blogging takes place. So I'm paying to sit in a much more comfortable chair and blog.

The exhibits hall was very disappointing. OK, I didn't expect anything of ALA/AASL proportions, but a little more pizzazz would have been nice. Most of this is geared to internet librarians, with some OPACs represented but mostly... nothing for those of us that work in schools. It's not even like we're the bastard stepchild, we're non-existent.

I should have expected this, though, because the conference is little publicized in the places where school librarians would be looking. It's an "in crowd" thing, not an inclusive event, which (of course) is reflected in the turnout and the exhibits and the presentations. Apparently there are under 80 school librarians registered. You'd think that with so few, "they" could put together an attendee list so that we could be on the lookout for each other and make sure we're all happy. Nope. Nada.

Even the conference handouts are disappointing. The booklet of presentations was not proofread (evident from the mixing of one person's name/title with another's e-mail). And the presentation handouts that are specific to ISE were either cropped or dropped. Either way, not a good start to the conference experience.

Let's hope that the company and the presentations make up for this bad start. But you know what they say about lasting first impressions...

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