This guest blog post comes to us from Jeremy Goldstein, Data Curation Librarian for the Minuteman Library Network, and Enhancements Co-Coordinator for the 2019 IUG Steering Committee.
Back in 2015, I had the chance to attend my first IUG conference. I had been around Innovative libraries for about a decade at that point and had attended a lot of conferences by then. If I’m being completely honest I was starting to burn out on the years of pitches from both vendors and other libraries to show ways in which we were still relevant.
That conference changed everything for me. Instead of the standard conference fare, I found a program full of presentations that all made me better at my job, a bit more excited for its future, and gave me tons of new contacts that I rely on regularly to this day. As soon as I got back, I volunteered to join a pair of new task forces that were forming (one each from III and IUG) as well as the functional experts, and I’ve been a dedicated member ever since.
Since then, IUG has continued to be a driving force in my professional life. At the 2017 conference, I attended a program on automating reports with Python given by Gem Stone-Logan (which is still available on her website and is utterly brilliant) that ultimately led me down an entirely different career path. I had always wanted to learn some coding and start taking advantage of the SQL features in the system, but I had never quite found an entry point that made learning that seem worth the effort. In the course of an hour at that conference that changed.
Fast forward two years (and many MANY messages providing help from the community) and I’m now in a new role, in which I get to support the data needs of our 41 member libraries and truly get to learn something new every day. I haven’t been so excited to be a librarian since I first started out and I have IUG to thank for that. And at this year’s conference in Phoenix, I now get to be one of the people on stage helping to pass along what I’ve learned from this group to others.
Hopefully, I’ll see you there.