Workshop thoughts

While cruising the 'net to find feeds to plug into LISFeeds, I came across something notable. If you knew about the US Department of Agriculture's Graduate School, you might know they have unique courses available. Not all relate to agricultural topics like alpaca husbandry. Some classes available include ones on Counter and Anti-Terrorism, Conversational Turkish I-III, Evolution, and more. One particular course caught my eye. The course description states:
Podcasting-offering audio content for download via the Internet-is a great way to offer non-visual material to a worldwide audience. This course presents the basic skills, equipment and knowledge you need to start creating your own Internet-based "radio show." As with many digitally-based media, access to the technology is inexpensive, but the difference between a tossed-together podcast and a polished show is like night and day. This class will help you get started toward an appealing, well-produced podcast.
This may sound similar to the matter discussed in the press release Boot Camp on Online Production for Librarians Announced. The costs are a little different. The USDA event takes place in DC and costs $215 per attendee. The event being put on by Erie Looking Productions in the Las Vegas Valley would cost $249 dollars. There are reasons for the cost difference. First and foremost, the USDA presenters get salaries from USDA. The presenters here don't so a small fraction goes towards covering that. Secondly, the $100 up-front deposit goes towards the purchase of food and the securing of space for the event as well as ensuring we have a working projector. If there was more than four dollars in the bank, putting deposits towards all that would not otherwise be necessary. Unfortunately, this is just economic reality for us right now. We are planning on ensuring attendees are fed a fabulous lunch, too. I bring all this up as the deadline to register for the event is coming up on February 9th. I do not handle the registrations directly. This was a deliberate step taken so that I could worry about putting together a ton of fabulous content rather than where money is going. The person handling the business side is Pam Munson. To get more details about the event and/or register, the easiest way to reach her is via e-mail with ELPEVENT on the subject line so that her spam filter doesn't kill your message. The key thing is to fire questions off to her and not me as she handles the business side while I am finalizing curriculum. I cannot offer CEU's like the USDA Graduate School. I have to have an established track record of offering programs first. Since this creates a lovely chicken and the egg situation, this results in folks having to take a chance. For hands-on instruction in working with tools that aren't taught in library school, the odds of a good time are better with us than in playing video slots. As we continue into Superbowl weekend, I put this before you. If you want to take a fun trip to Vegas that can count for business purposes, this is a great opportunity at a meteorologically pleasant time of year. The weather is beautiful in February and not nearly as oppressive as in the summer when that future ALA annual conference was planned for here. Valentine's weekend room rates are high but the weekend between Valentine's and the big NASCAR race on the north side of town results in pretty cheap hotel rates compared to summertime. What will you choose?