Professional Development

In the '2007 ALA Midwinter' Category...

Sarah at ALA Midwinter

Wednesday, January 24, 2007 4:38 pm

ALA Midwinter was very busy, but productive.  I’m Co-Chair of the ACRL Science & Technology Section (STS) Research Committee, and we met on Saturday to go over poster proposals for the upcoming poster session at ALA Annual in Washington, DC.  The topic of the poster session is very interesting: institutional repositories of non-textual information (i.e., maps, images, etc.). 

On Sunday morning, the RUSA-CODES Liaison with Users Committee met, and we went over the results of two surveys on the nature of liaison work in academic and public libraries.  On Sunday afternoon, I attended the ACRL STS Program Planning Committee, where we discussed the logistics of the upcoming poster session at ALA Annual.   

On Monday morning, I went to ACRL-STS Council, which includes the Executive Board and the co-chairs of all of the committees and discussion groups.  We discussed the ACRL Environmental Scan and upcoming events at ALA Annual and ACRL National. 

Other highlights of my trip to Seattle included going to a comedy club, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, and various Seattle coffeehouses.  Overall, it was a great trip.

So Long Seattle from Lynn

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 12:17 pm

I see Erik is already starting the next iteration of this blog from San Antonio, so I will keep this brief.  I judge this to be a successful Midwinter.  Seattle is nearly ideal as a Midwinter site, with all the hotels in walking distance of the Convention Center, the weather consistently over freezing, and plenty of shops of restaurants to keep up everyone’s fortitude. Even though “programs” are forbidden at Midwinter and there is only supposed to be committee business going on, you can see from everyone’s entries how much programming slips in. “Discussion groups” are programs of the first order and no one seems to mind. It’s on to Minneapolis for me and then to Greensboro with arrival at 10:42 pm. Wish me luck!

Monday, Monday with Lynn

Tuesday, January 23, 2007 12:17 am

My first appointment was not until 11:00 so I spent the morning catching up on email. Then I met my former colleague from Wayne State, Bob Holley, for an early lunch. Bob and I were both at Wayne for many years and held a variety of positions. At one point, he was Interim Dean and I was Interim Associate Dean. He also served as the only librarian on my doctoral dissertation commitee. We chatted about old times and new times and agreed to meet again in DC for Annual.

Then I spent the entire afternoon in a LibQUAL results session. Surprisingly, this turned out to be the most valuable experience of the entire conference. I’ve been doing LibQUAL since 2001 and sometimes moan about it but today’s session on what to do with the results helped me focus on several factors that I hadn’t paid much attention to previously. Most often, we want to know “how we did,” often in comparison with others. That is the information we presented at the staff meeting and to the Library Advisory Committee. But one extremely important component is the importance that our various constituencies (faculty, undergraduates and graduate students) place on the various factors they want from the library. They may be different rankings from each other and they may be different than what we, as staff, think our users want. What is important to remember as we go about the final stages of prioritizing our strategic planning initiatives is that we should focus on improving the areas that are important to users that we don’t do as well as they would like. It would not make sense to spend a lot of time and money on areas that we do well already that are not that important to our users. More on this later.

Bill and I went to dinner with his colleague Jack Walsdorf, who lectured at ZSR last year in the Booklovers Road Show and then Bill had to fly to California to meet with Alibris brass tomorrow. In the morning, I will send one final entry, summing up the Midwinter experience.

Mary’s Sunday and Monday in Seattle

Monday, January 22, 2007 8:51 pm

Yesterday was a busy day for me and I didn’t have time to blog. I started in the morning meeting with the Cataloging Committee of GODORT. There were several issues to discuss, including GPO’s new abridged record cataloging policy, changes to CONSER cataloging, and GPO’s imminent testing of Z39.50 with their ALEPH catalog, the Catalog of Government Publications (CGP). At lunch-time I took a quick tour through the exhibits, but didn’t see anything that really caught my eye. After lunch I sat in on the GITCO (Government Information Technology Committee) meeting. I have previously served on GITCO and like to keep up on the issues they are talking about. I was particularly interested in the GPO update on the implementation of the FDSys, or Future Digital System. This is the content management system that GPO is developing to ingest, catalog, store, archive and make accessible federal goverment e-publications. They are planning on release 1B going live in May. This release will test the fundamental intake process or, “ingest functionality.” After this, I typed up the minutes for the Cataloging Committee and sent them off to the Committee Chair and the GODORT Secretary so that they would be available for this morning’s GODORT Business Meeting. Then I read 115 proposals for roundtables at ACRL in Baltimore. After all this, it was time for a little relaxation. I took the monorail to the Seattle Center complex. This complex is home of the Space Needle and also the Pacific Science Museum, where the Ex Libris reception was held. Susan and I had planned to meet there and then go to dinner. As you read in Susan’s post, we had a great meal at the Pink Door.

This morning, I was up bright and early for my 8am meeting with the Roundtables Subcommittee for 13th Biennial ACRL Conference in Baltimore. We were able to go through the proposals, pick the 100 that we have space for, and sort them in to one of two roundtable session times in less than the four hours alotted. I was able to enjoy an nice lunch with a friend and former colleague at Mercer, Beth Hammond. I enjoyed catching up on the Mercer and Hammond family news. I came back to the hotel where I had planned to meet Debbie Nolan. We had a nice chat about what we had been doing since we’d last seen each other. Debbie is extremely busy but loves her new job. She says “hello” to everyone at ZSR.

I finally had some time this afternoon to explore a bit of Seattle. I walked down to the famous Pike Place Market and was pleasently surprised to learn that this several-blocks long market houses not only seafood stands, but also fresh fruit and vegetables, great flowers (tulips, tulips, tulips!), and arts and crafts stands. Who should I run in to while there but Sarah Jeong and Emily Stambaugh! There are other shops in the area so I was able to spend a little bit more money to help the Seattle economy.

I will have to turn my mind to getting some dinner and packing to go home tomorrow morning. My flight leaves SeaTac airport at 8am PST, so I will have to catch the shuttle tomorrow morning around 5:30. Yuck! But, I keep telling myself that’s really 8:30 EST, so it’s not all that bad. Mind over matter! See you all on Wednesday.

Lauren’s last day at ALA

Monday, January 22, 2007 1:49 pm

This Monday is shaping up to be pretty busy! I attended the LITA Town Meeting. It was great! They’re starting their own strategic planning process, so it was interesting to see what they had to say in relation to what we’ve been doing. I blogged about it for the LITA Blog. (I’ll add the link once they post it. Update: here it is.) I saw Alex Cohen there; it was good to catch up. He lead the space planning workshop I attended in Boston earlier this year and followed up on some of the ideas we had talked about. He also had some interesting things to say about the OCLC Perceptions report.

Next, I have a focus group for Alexander Street Press in the afternoon. I’ll be happy to talk with folks about that when I get home.

John and I took PTO so that we could stay a few more days and catch up with old friends who moved out here. I plan to check out the Seattle Public Library at some point. I’ll post my pictures over at Flickr. See you all next Monday!

Susan Signs off and Heads Home

Monday, January 22, 2007 10:14 am

I’m getting set to catch the airport shuttle and start the long trip back to Winston-Salem! My first ALA Midwinter has been a positive experience and it’s been wonderful to have a chance to visit Seattle. I definitely have it on my list for a return visit when I can take more time to explore the area.

See you all tomorrow morning!

Susan’s Sunday Evening Events

Monday, January 22, 2007 7:36 am

I was invited to two receptions last evening and luckily both were in close proximity at the Seattle Center. The Center is on a big campus that was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and was a pleasant mile walk from my hotel.

ALA Editons hosts a reception each ALA Conference for authors and their committee members. This was my first opportunity to attend one and it was interesting to meet other authors. It was held at the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, a place that made me think of Chris Burris, who I think would enjoy it. We were restricted to an event room so didn’t really get to roam around and view exhibits.

My second reception was the one hosted by ExLibris for their customers. It was held in the Pacific Science Center, at the opposite end of the campus. They had RSVP’s from 800 people, but our group had the run of the place so it wasn’t crowded. I finally met up with Mary Horton there and after the reception we had a great dinner at The Pink Door.

Seattle Space Needle at Night The Space Needle made it simple to find the Seattle Center Ferris Wheel Night view of the Ferris Wheel at the foot of the Space Needle Robot This robots greets visitors at the entry of the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame ALA Editions Author   Reception ALA Editions Reception at the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame Praying Mantis An animated praying mantis at the entry of the Insect Village in the Pacific Science Center Mary Horton is an Original Mary Horton at the ExLibris reception

Sunday with Lynn

Sunday, January 21, 2007 10:25 pm

Sunday morning started bright and early with the Alibris User Group breakfast at 8:00 am.  I serve on the Alibris Collection Development Award panel and the winners were announced at the breakfast.  When I read the finalists’ applications this year, I promised myself I would never complain about our acquisitions budget again because these were libraries that had NO budgets.  They were trying to meet the needs of their clients in any way they could.  This year there were three winners: YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, for books for sexual assault survivors; the Bahia Street project, providing books to girls on the streets of Brazil; and Granby Public Library, to replace books destroyed when an irate citizen literally bulldozed the library along with 12 other public buildings.  I am not making this stuff up. In the small group sessions at the breakfast, I told about our plans to incorporate the Alibris Donate-a-Book feature in the “South” course that ZSR will participate in with Drs. Smith and Hattery this summer.  The public library system in Hancock County, Mississippi will list the books they lost in Hurricane Katrina and the 20-25 Wake Forest students in the class will solicit their families, friends and colleagues to donate these books from the Alibris website.  I hope it works out.

Next, I attended the ACRL Presidential Candidates forum.  EBSCO promised light refreshments but instead it was a lovely full-blown lunch!  I came to support Erica Linke, Associate Dean at Carnegie Mellon, and one of our University Libraries Group (ULG) colleagues.  I lost some of my appetite for the ALA and ACRL bureaucracy years ago, but I do admire those who continue to make slow progress year after year, committee by committee.  They do good work for all of us and I feel we all owe them our support.

Although I didn’t originally intend to, I went to the ALA President’s Program, “Learn to FISH” about the world-famous Pike Place Fish Market and their unique customer/employee experience.  Bill and I had walked through the Pike Place Market on Thursday and saw the super-friendly guys in orange rubber jumpsuits. The four guiding principles to their work (that we could all learn from) are

  • Play
  • Make Someone’s Day
  • Be There
  • Choose Your Own Attitude (my personal favorite)

I left the FISH program early to attend the end of a Director’s reception with Ex Libris (our new ILS vendor since they merged with Endeavor). My first contact was positive, with an Ex Libris staffer based in Jerusalem, but then I was surrounded by ex-Endeavor employees and I made a quick exit.  More on that when we get back to the ranch.

So now I sit in the hotel room, hoping Tom Brady and New England don’t blow the game to the hated Peyton Manning…but they did.

Susan in the Exhibit Hall

Sunday, January 21, 2007 7:03 pm

After lunch I went to the exhibit hall with three main goals: to talk with Syndetic Solutions, to stop and say “hey” to Bill Kane and to find some free chocolates to satisfy my sweet tooth! I am pleased to report I met all three goals.

Syndetic was the toughest. I could not see them listed on the vendor list. I put on my librarian’s hat, found the Internet Cafe and did a bit of research to discover they are owed by Bowker. Whew, hard to keep all that vendor consolidation straight. Chris, the regional sale rep from Charlotte, gave me a demo of some of the sites using the product. Take a look at Purdue’s implementation. They are a Voyager site so the look is probably more similar to what we could expect than some of the others he showed me. If you search for “48 laws of power” as a title keyword, you should see a result with cover art. Go into the individual record and find the link to additional information to see the enriched content. The data is all stored on the host server, libraries simply link to the data they have subscribed to receive.

If we would like, we can try the service out with a two week trial. Erik and I will canvas you all once we both get back in the library next week.

Old Home Week(end)

Sunday, January 21, 2007 6:46 pm

As I said, there are thousands of librarians here, spread out all over the city in multiple hotels. Meetings are stretched out all over also, so it’s not surprising that I haven’t laid eyes on Lauren, Mary or Sarah (I did run into Lynn on the street yesterday as we hurried to go to different meetings).

Imagine my surprise today when I met up with 3 old colleagues and friends from ZSR! First, I ran into Debbie Nolan in one of the meeting hotels. We took time out to sit and have a nice talk. She’s doing great at Towson and looked like she’s thriving in her new role. As we were parting ways, who came up but Emily Stambaugh, still at UC Riverside. She mentioned she is rooming with Sarah! Finally, as I was heading up the street to the exhibit hall after lunch, I heard someone call out “Susan” and who was there but Sherri Durren. She is still in Georgia. We chatted for several minutes. It turns out today is her birthday and I confessed that I am now a grandmother.

It was great to catch up with folks I haven’t seen or heard from in eons and renew acquaintances!


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