A lot goes into putting on programs and services of all kinds, whether it is a simple story time at the local library, a rock concert the size of Coachella, or a musical on Broadway. Planning, organizing, and possibly blood, sweat, and tears go into planning any event. Speakers need to
be recruited, tickets need to be sold, programs need to be printed, and food needs to be purchased. The little things are just as important as the big things. It’s stressful and hectic, and everyone involved becomes frazzled. But when the event starts, you start to relax, and when the event is over you get to rejoice. Then you get to contemplate what went well, what could be improved, and start planning the next one. Summer reading programs usually end in July or August and the next year’s events start being planned as early as October. It’s never-ending but the rewards are worth it.
As I am a recently hired employee of Access Innovations, Inc. the 13th annual Data Harmony Users Group, #DHUG2017, was my first major conference with the company, in terms of both planning and attending. A lot went on to plan the event and there were many times I would wake up in the middle of the night trying to remember if I had done something or not. I honestly don’t know how event planners or wedding planners can do it on a regular basis – although my realtor told me she never sleeps and gets off on the high of the success of her sell. I’m more of the type who is happy if I remember where I put my keys, let alone if we are going to have enough food for x amount of people for x number of days. However, once #DHUG2017 started, it was all worth it. Here are some of my observations from DHUG 2017:
Monday–Training day: The first day of DHUG 2017 is set aside for training. This is a great chance to get more familiar with the Data Harmony software, and we have an all-day training session with Jack Bruce. Even though I work with the software, using it isn’t my main focus and so my training has been piecemeal, learning only the functions that I need to know at the time to perform a particular task. This training allowed me to see how all those bits and pieces function as a whole.
Tuesday–Conference talks: Win Hansen introduced “what’s new” with the Data Harmony software. All the great new updates and features that the company has been working on over the past year were unveiled. Afterwards, we heard from our users and how they are using our software and interesting projects they have done with it.
From organizing university records to medical coding, Data Harmony users have all benefited immensely from the software. As a librarian, I really enjoyed hearing Chelsea Dinsmore on how the University of Florida is using MAI to improve their catalog of digital records so that users can easily find specific content efficiently.
Wednesday–Conference talks: More users shared with us their experiences. I enjoyed hearing Dan Berger from the American Water Works Association discuss how they use XIS to keep track of their publications. Did you know the first standards for drinking water were published in 1905? The breakout session allowed for us all to brainstorm what we would like to see the software look like, or how we could improve it for better functionality. This feedback will allow Access Innovations, Inc. to continue making improvements that our users want. We wrapped up the conference talks with a discussion about future directions of the company and software.
Thursday–meetings and cleanup: We had a few small group meetings with some of our clients before they headed back home and then the ever-fun cleanup began. Just like any event, what you set up must come down.
#DHUG2017 was a jam packed few days. I admit to suffering a bit from information overload, but look forward to being able to extract and contemplate that information over the next few days. I also look forward to planning next year’s DHUG meeting #DHUG2018 and learning more from Heather Kotula on event planning!
Jennifer Crawford, MLIS
Marketing Librarian for Access Innovations, Inc.