Summing It All Up: The Closing Session

Derek Law and Erin Gallagher

Derek Law and Erin Gallagher

Erin Gallagher, E-Resources and Serials Librarian at Rollins College conducted a “Poll-a-Palooza” to kick off the final session. According to the Urban Dictionary, a Palooza is “an all-out crazy party, partying at one place with a ton of people like there’s no tomorrow”.

It was interesting to review last year’s forecast of this year’s hot topics in the light of what actually happened:

Last Year's Forecast of Hot Topics

Last Year’s Forecast of Hot Topics

The audience was asked a series of questions, to which they replied using Poll Everywhere, and the replies appeared rapidly on the screen. Here are the questions with a few of the answers; Erin has promised to report more fully on them on the Against The Grain website.

  • Where are you from?  The attendees traveling the greatest distance came from Australia or Japan
  • Are you a first-time attendee? Yes 54% No 46%
  • What is your favorite session type?
  • What was the hottest buzzword of the conference? OA was one of the most popular responses.
  • What is your opinion of Gaillard Center? Typical replies:  Beautiful, Spectacular, Amazing
  • How do you purchase E-books?
  • Have you ever taken a MOOC?  Yes 27%  No 67%  What is it  6%
  • DDA is:
  • Do you use altmetrics to measure the impact of your own research?  Yes 33%  No 59%  What are altmetrics 8%
  • How do you market OA resources to your community?
  • Do you consider Wikipedia a valid resource for college students?  Yes 51%  No 10%  It depends 37%
  • Will you be implementing any programs or adjusting existing programs based on what you learned here? Yes 72%  Don’t know 26%  No 2%
  • What’s the best book you have read this year?
  • What’s your favorite restaurant in Charleston?
  • Suggestions for the 2016 Charleston Conference theme?
  • What will be the hottest topic of Charleston 2016?

Derek Law then summed up the conference. There were 1,788 registrants (an all-time record) of which 494 were first-time attendees, 291 sessions or events, and  549 speakers.  Derek said that he knows of no other conference where ratio of registrants to speakers is so high—this is a most-sharing conference.

We are in a time of radical and fundamental change, but it is a time of community and working together, as Katherine Skinner discussed in her opening keynote address. Using an analogy to landscape gardening, where the formal gardens of the French Le Notre style gave way through new technology in the 1700s to wide sweeping vistas, he wondered where we will create such vistas.  The answer:

Sweeping Vistas


Yes, Charleston is a beautiful city and a wonderful place to hold a conference.  And the wonderful Gaillard Center comfortably accommodated all of us. As usual, there was lots of delicious food to be had in the great restaurants, and even the weather cooperated! And there was lots of community support:

Community Support

Fons et Origo

And if you had to look up the meaning of “Fons et Origo”, as I did, it means the source and origin of something.

Come Back Next Year

So the 35th Charleston Conference is over.  What an amazing run; how many other conferences in our industry can you name that have gone on that long?


See You Next Year


Don HawkinsDon Hawkins
Charleston 2015 Conference Blogger and Against The Grain Columnist

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