Turns out that some folks on LM_Net are a little put out that AASL restricts access to the online handouts to those who were registered. Sound "bid-ness," I'm sure, but not exactly a big help to the general over all profession.
Since at least 1998, I have made all my support materials (formerly known as handouts) available on my wiki where they are clearly marked with a Creative Commons license. When I remember, I bring note cards like the one below that help those attending find the wiki.
This works for me on a number of levels:
- The support materials are easy to update on the wiki. (Remember that one Internet year is equal to twenty human years.) Easy for me to find as well.
- Fewer trees are needlessly sacrificed. What percentage of handouts actually get read? (Not saved, but read and used?)
- Everybody's suitcase and back are less strained going home.
- Online handouts support virtual conferences such as Steve Hargadon's Library 2.011. (Shameless self-promotion: I am doing two sessions (Libraries in the Cloud and Changed But Critical) for the conference tomorrow. Check it out since the price is right.)
- Those who can't afford to attend a conference can still get some goodie out of the support materials.
- I get to use a smart-ass card like the one above and explain how doing so makes both people who love handouts and people who hate handouts sort of mad.
- Such cards make good bookmarks for those who still read books made out of cellulose.
I've never been sure what goes on in collective mind of not-for-profit professional associations when they limit or charge for online materials and services. Heaven knows professional associations wouldn't want to help anyone who can't won't pony up the hundreds of dollars for membership dues, conference and workshop fees, and travel costs. Such educators are probably just blowing their astonomical paychecks on things like rent and food for their children.
That's it. Little rant over.
Special shout-out to Chris Harris who gave the best presentation of the AASL Conference on Friday morning. His talk about e-books was both more useful and his speaking style more engaging than either keynote speaker. (I am also relieved that he admits there are really no great options for libraries when it comes to e-book provision to patrons.)