Day Two at ALA January 17, 2010Posted by pupfiction in ALA Mid-winter Meeting.
Tags: ALA, ALAmw10, Americal Library Association, BCEC, libraries, meeting
On day two of the American Library Association’s mid-winter meeting we hit the exhibition center around 1 pm. It was far more crowded than the previous evening and people were far more interested in us. We also felt a lot more comfortable stocking up on free books after we realized everything was free, unless marked otherwise. Though I didn’t hand out any resumes, I did meet a few people from my region and made small talk. I also passed on the blog’s business card to a select few.
My friend and I sat through a few demonstrations (with the promise of possibly winning a kindle at one) that we ended up finding very interesting. The first one was by SirsiDynix on library guides and OPACs (aka Online Public Access Catalog). The product was great, but would be very expensive and was more geared towards public libraries. The second demonstration we went to was by ProQuest-Bowker. We learned about their new OPAC and its use of LibraryThing for Libraries‘ tags and reviews–something we had discussed and “dreamed” of in library school. It was really great to see what is out there, even if our libraries can’t afford all the bells and whistles right now.
Highlights of the day included meeting and speaking with Leila of the Leila Texts Blog, who works for Penguin Books and was really nice and personable. She even showed us the mis-directed texts she had received that day! My friend and I also took the free shuttle into the heart of Boston and toured the beautiful and historic Boston Public Library. We got back to the convention center just in time to walk over to a cute hidden gem – Lucky’s Lounge, where I met my ALA assigned mentor, a librarian from Clemson University. We had communicated a few times via email, but meeting her in person was better than I could have expected. She was friendly, outgoing, interested, and an all together lovely person. We had a great time!
We were pretty burnt out by Sunday morning and decided to head home, very satisfied with what we had taken from the meeting. Overall thoughts: I wish we had done the proper research and found some discussion groups to join. Although we had fun, and some of the products and product demos were interesting we could have learned a lot more (and networked more!) with our peers. Despite this minor setback, we learned what the mid-winter meeting is like, how to navigate it, and what to expect. Overall it was a great experience that I would not hesitate to do again.