Today has been a busy day with a variety of interesting activities that made for a different than usual conference experience.
This morning I started the day off at an awards breakfast where Kevin was presented with his award from Lyrasis as a Next Gen librarian. I was expecting a big impersonal affair, but it turned out to be a very cozy event held in a hotel suite. There were about a dozen people present – Lyrasis staff, members from the Lyrasis Board and the awardees and their guests. Each recipient received a fine looking memento that was an engraved curved plexiglass design. After the ceremony, we all had ample opportunity to chat with each other and learn more about each person who received an award.
From there I headed to the convention center to attend a talk by Dave Isay, the founder of Story Corps. If you are not familiar with the stories, which you may have heard on NPR, it is a 7 year old program with a mission to “provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives.” There have been 30,000 stories recorded from 60,000 people. Each interview is recorded on 2 CD’s, one that is given to the interviewee and one that is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Story Corps has partnered with the NPR and libraries across the country. Mobile recording booths travel across the country collecting interviews. Over 99% of the participants agree to make their stories public. Isley was an eloquent speaker and played snippets of the interview throughout the presentation. He said that part of the power of the recordings is that they are different from yourself and allow you to walk in someone else’s footprints. What the interview facilitators believe is that people are basically good and they are collecting the wisdom of humanity. My interest in hearing about this program is that WFDD has asked ZSR Library to provide a local archive of the interviews recorded in Winston-Salem last year. Their current model of access is to transmit brief excerpts of interviews, with the full interviews being made available through a trip to the library. We are working with Story Corps to allow access on a wider basis.
Erik and I had a lunch meeting with the editor and board members from the Journal of Web Librarianship, along with Stacy Stanislaw from Routledge, the journal’s publisher. Erik is a regular columnist and I am a board member. The publisher shared publication statistics with us, including a subscription analysis, online journal usage and the top ten dowloaded articles through early 2010 (our article on using Facebook was #6!).
The grand finale of the day came when Erik, Carolyn and I met up with Waits and Christian for dinner. They’ve moved to Washington, DC recently and got in touch with us when Waits found out from Wanda that we’d all be at ALA. It was wonderful to visit with them and Waits said to tell everyone in the library hello!
Tomorrow morning, we’ll pick Kevin up from his hotel and head back south. It’s been a good conference this time around, but it will be good to get back home!