If there is a lesson to be learned from the events of this evening’s late night shift, it is that IT skills, however rudimentary, are always going to bail you (or your high profile speaker) out. When the promised IT support does not show to set up a speaker presentation and the event is hosted in your library (although not sponsored by your library), you are the tech support. You are the one that has to figure out a way to hook up a Mac to your fervently PC institutional set up. You are the one that has to figure out how to deal with a mess of cords and a dongle because even if you could export Keynote to Powerpoint on short notice, somehow the PC unit on the podium has disappeared, so you couldn’t run it anyway.
I implore you. If you are a librarian who does not know where the cords go on your own computer or entertainment center, figure it out. This skill will serve you well, I promise.
Relatedly, Elizabeth Kolbert is a lovely human, who gives interesting lectures, and is amazingly flexible in the face of possibly giving a lecture without slides. Or a microphone. You might check out her soon-to-be-released book, The Sixth Extinction.