Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Housekeeping note

I've updated my RSS feed link to the correct URL as I finally clued into the fact that LISFeeds had stopped working a while ago. Blame the fact that Bloglines was still showing I was active. Anyway, click on the sidebar or on the following link to update your subscriptions:

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Exhibits report - Day three, part two

I hadn't planned on spending much time in the exhibits at this conference. This is mainly because I didn't want to lug a lot of stuff home. Today ended up being my exhibits day, but I did stick with my plan on not getting a lot of giveaways.

When you attend the exhibits at a conference, you should go in with a plan of some sort. Whether it's as simple as "get as much freebies as I can possibly carry, and then get some more" or as complex as highlighting and timing your route through the hall prior to actually going through, a plan will save you time and help you focus. Always keep a list of the vendors and their locations on your person. You may end up filling in some free time in the exhibit hall, and there's nothing as frustrating as wanting to check out a particular vendor and not knowing where they are located. The frustration just ratchets up when you do find out where they are located and realize you had been about five booths down a half hour and a tour of the whole hall ago.

Also, show some courtesy. Courtesy to your fellow attendees and the vendors. If you're getting a nice giveaway from the vendor, spend a few minutes talking to them about their product. That's why the giveaway is happening. I once was talking with a vendor about a series that I liked by them, and about upcoming series. Just by having a discussion and answering some of the vendor's questions, I was given a free book I was able to put into my library's collection. A good majority of us in the profession are genuinely nice people. Genuinely nice people can get cranky after the fifth person in a row knocks into them while reaching for the free tchotchkes and does not apologize.

Ask questions. The vendors are here to sell you their products and services, but if you don't fully understand what they are selling, you will not be a happy customer in the future. They love happy customers. If you're a library school student, check out the big vendors. Be upfront that you're still in school, but you're interested in what they have to sell because you may be in a position in the future to purchase from them. By making yourself aware of what's available to libraries, you will be a more informed candidate for job positions.

Take breaks. I wasn't carrying around much today, but I was getting tired roaming the hall. You're usually walking around on a concrete floor with minimal padding and carrying around 10-25+ extra pounds of literature and swag. This is not good for your feet or your back, no matter what kind of shape you're in.

People watching at conferences, and especially the exhibit hall, is a lot of fun. Spend some time just observing. And one last key tip that I learned at my first ALA conference: on the last day of exhibits, check with the vendors for discount sales, or even giveaways, of the products in their booth. That's it for now as I've got a dinner engagement. More fun tomorrow, including a report from the NMRT Executive Board meeting at which the nominees for ALA President-Elect will be speaking.

Exhibits Report - Day Three, Part One

This is going to be short because I need to meet up with a friend soon, but here's a little nugget of advice. When you are wandering around the exhibits floor of a conference, you never know who will bump into. Prepare for anyone. Today, I bumped into my English teacher from my sophomore year of high school. I have not seen her since I graduated, as that was her last year also. She's now working for the Library of Congress. Really, you have no idea.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Midwinter 2007 - Day Two

First off, I'm bummed. It looks like my digital camera may have gone missing. Unless by some miracle it appears before I leave, I will be unable to show off the pictures I took last night. This is really sad as the stormtroopers were so cool!

Okay, shaking it off. This is my first Midwinter. I'm finding it a bit easier to navigate than when I attended the Annual conference in Chicago. The size is smaller, and the meeting places are much closer together. I have given myself a bit of time in my schedule to allow for changing locations, but it's still mentally easier to deal with.

This morning I decided to skip the NMRT Orientation even though I'm a director because I wanted to attend one of the RUSA CODES Reader's Advisory committee meetings. Their second meeting is scheduled for the same time as the NMRT Executive Board meeting which I really can't miss. The great thing about the Midwinter meeting is that you can sit in on committee meetings and find out if you want to be further involved with that committee. You may even be recruited to help out with an upcoming project. I was asked to contribute a short annotated bibliography on erotica for their Annual program on the cutting edge genres of reader's advisory. I also got to talk a little bit with people I knew of from Fiction_L. What we discussed reinforced my thoughts I previously talked about in my "being an expert" post.

When we wrapped up here, I immediately headed to the exhibit hall to get my Read Responsibly! poster. Bill and Gene are wonderfully friendly guys and Bill will draw you any character from the strip that you want. The most popular request while I was in line was for the cataloger.

After scoring my poster, I went to the PLA Technology in Libraries committee meeting. The first order of business was to discuss what new topics to add to Tech Notes and what topics to revise. Just finding out about Tech Notes was worth my attendance. If you work even remotely with technology in public libraries, which is pretty much every public librarian reading this blog, you need to check these topics out. The lineup of new topics the committee plans on adding to the listing is phenomenal, so watch for updates. A number of current topics will also be revised to reflect current technologies.

The NMRT All-committee meeting was my last order of business for the day. The meeting started with the Candidate Forum for the upcoming elections and all of the candidates present represented themselves well. I know a few of the candidates who were not present, and I applaud the Nominating Committee for putting together such a strong slate this year. Decisions will be *very* tough. If you are a member of NMRT, be sure to watch NMRT-L for the Online Candidate Forum which will be happening some time in February.

The only thing left on my plate for tonight is the NMRT Social, and while I do not have my digital camera (WAAAAHHHHHH!!!!), I do have my 35mm one with me. It will be a little longer for me to upload pictures, but I will have them. Until tomorrow!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Exhibits report - Day 1

Only the strong survive. Tonight is the tribute to adult literature, or whatever they're calling it. Basically, hit up all the publishers for galleys and ARCs (Advanced Readers Copy) of upcoming books. I've seen people carrying around four or five bags FILLED with books and swag. I'm limiting myself because I have to schlep it back home and then move with it. I did get my very own READ poster picture taken by the fine folks at Polaris. They told me they would send me the digital file later, and I'll post it here. I posed with the hardcover version of Northern Lights by Nora Roberts. It's one of my absolute favorite audiobooks. And while I do have the audiobook (thanks Brilliance for putting it on sale!), I figured the hardcover version would show up better in the picture. It's a FAT book, but it was worth it to me. One complaint: no media card readers for us bloggers to upload our pictures to the web. I could very well be missing them if they are offered, so I'll retract the word "complaint" and put forward "suggestion". And really, I have some nice pictures. Yeah, I got one of the ribbon cutting, but even better, I got a picture of a group of stormtroopers with Boba Fett and some other guy. And one other thing, didn't the rules of the exhibit floor state "no wheeled carriers"? Yeah, I got a picture of a blatant offender. Watch for more tomorrow!

Midwinter 2007 - Day One

Okay, I'm posting this from my Palm, so it's not going to be as pretty as it normally is. It probably also won't be as coherent as the screen it a leeetle too small. The line for the Internet Cafe was a little too long for me.

Right now, I'm sitting outside of the entrance to the exhibit hall, and it looks like they're setting up the stand for the ribbon cutting ceremony right in front of me. What I like about where I'm at is that I'm getting 3 bar service on the WiFi signal. I was at the Sheraton earlier for the OCLC Symposium, and while I had "connectivity", the darn thing wouldn't let me actually connect to the web.

Okay, what I've done today. Informal tour of the Seattle Public Library. They were doing formal tours, but I didn't get there in time to take one and still get where I needed to go. The book spiral: somewhat disappointing. This was because I had been envisioning something like a rotating corkscrew with all of the non-fiction books on it. I couldn't figure out how the library had gotten all of the books on it, but that's what I was thinking. Also, it's not really a place an acrophobic should visit. Lots of open space where you can look far, far, far down.

Oh, a barbershop quartet has begun singing.

I am slightly annoyed at how my keyboard is periodically losing the IR connection between it and my Palm.

After the library, I went to OCLC's Symposium, "Who's Watching YOUR Space?" Good FSM! Michael Stephens was the default moderator, and Howard Rheingold, danah boyd, and Marc Smith the main speakers. It was amazing, and very mindblowing. I took a lot of notes and will try hard to write them up after I've had time to process it all. I have an anthropology background, so it helped me not feel as overwhelmed with all that they discussed, but still, the thinking about what's available out there now and what's possible in the near future forces you to rethink your place in the world, both digital and non-digital. Ack, I'm out of room. I will continue later.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Short and sweet

No time for one of the long and introspective essays today. I had to go over to the storage unit where I've been keeping some of my stuff for the last four years. Amazing how much crud you forget you own. I will attending ALA Midwinter from Thursday to Tuesday, so expect a few posts about it this weekend. They may be nothing more than brain dumps as it takes me a little bit to process through the tons of information presented at these things and write them up in a nice and coherent manner.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Amazing what can happen in a month

Now that's Blogger seems to be working again, here's a little update on my past month.

*I've renewed the domain name for another three years. Web host for one more.

*I was invited to speak at a program regarding how my library manages our high school/adult reading program. But, I had to turn them down.

*I turned them down because the program is scheduled for after my last day of work at my current place of employment.

*I am leaving my current place of employment because I interviewed, was offered, and accepted a new job starting mid-February.

Be prepared for me to drop off the face of the Earth for another short-ish period of time as I prepare to move over a state and get settled into the new job. I'll try and post some things about the moving experience, but time just seems to be rushing past me now that I've got to get an apartment secured and moved into in a month's time with ALA Midwinter sitting dead in the middle of my schedule. Really, why does time speed up when you want it to slow down just the tiniest bit?