Professional Development

In the '2008 ALA Midwinter' Category...

Lauren on Monday

Monday, January 14, 2008 6:01 pm

The LITA Town Meeting was first thing this morning. Part of my role as LITA’s Emerging Leader is to work with the LITA vice-president/president elect, and that kicks off with the Town Meeting. Our theme for the year is communication and marketing, and the group had some very interesting discussions. I have the big sheets of paper with notes, so I need to type those up sometime soon! Afterwards Andrew and I were interviewed for a LITA Podcast which should show up soon.

Again, I had time for lunch and finally had time for my vegan cheesesteak!!

Vegan cheesesteak & cheesecake!

In the afternoon I attended the Emerging Technologies Interest Group which was really more about program planning, but the list of ideas are some interesting new technologies.

Afterwards I caught some of the gamers trying out games in the registration areas. The fellow in the pictures is UNC-Ch’s Emerging Technologies Reference Librarian:

gaming librarians

Now I’m using the wireless and getting caught up a bit. I’ve run into Rory Litwin, so we’re chatting and getting our computers charged up… I’m off to see Mary in a little big & we’re going to get dinner… so it’s a fun night! :)

Lauren on Sunday

Sunday, January 13, 2008 8:36 pm

Sunday was busy, but didn’t feel nearly as busy as Friday or Saturday. I even had time for lunch!!

At dinner Susan had said she was going to Top Tech Trends in the morning, and since my morning was a little bit flexible, I went too. We got the last two chairs together and both typed away as the meeting went on. A few times I got direct Twitter messages, and then I found that a bunch of my “online only” friends were in the room! Afterwards I was able to meet one face-to-face, but in doing so I lost Susan. After the talk I went to a new hotel to participate in the Women’s Studies Section Instruction Committee meeting. It was a good meeting. We’re looking at re-doing the information literacy standards for Women’s and Gender Studies, and even more exciting, we’re looking at piloting a way to allow for virtual participation (which can be viewed as a Women’s Studies issue). I’m VERY excited about that. Between my WSS meeting and COSWL, I ran into Mary and we took the shuttle to the convention center together. It’s always fun to run into someone you know! My last formal meeting of the day was with the Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship. It’s a committee of people appointed by the ALA president, which makes it a little different from the rest that I’m involved with. We don’t all come in with the same interests or motivations, but we do come to some good conclusions on projects. See my blog post for the list if you’re interested. :) I wrapped up the day with an attempt at going to the OCLC Blog Salon. I did walk through, but didn’t really spend much time there. To reward myself for nearly extroverted behavior, I came back to my room and treated myself to wireless. Now I’m relaxing with my blog, flickr set, twitter feed, and rss reader, and getting ready for the big LITA Town Meeting tomorrow!

Susan’s Sunday in Philadelphia, Continued

Sunday, January 13, 2008 7:23 pm
Mosaic Stairway in the Magic Gardens
Mosaic Stairway in the Magic Gardens

It was cold but sunny in Philadelphia this afternoon, so I took a few hours to tour part of the city by foot. My direction was partially dictated by the fact I left my VISA in Bookbinders two evenings ago, so I needed to retrieve. But, I particularly wanted to see the Magic Gardens on South Street by mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar up close. I had seen it from my car window a few years back and was anxious for a closer look. I was lucky enough to arrive as they were opening the Gardens up and thoroughly enjoyed wandering through alley after alley of intricate tile art that offers surprises all along the way. Well worth the $3 admission. My other sights can be seen on my Flickr site. Of course, I stopped in to see the Liberty Bell. Yes, it’s cracked

My major goal for the afternoon was to represent Lynn at the University Library Group meeting. In particular, Lynn wanted me to see a demonstration of their open source VuFind product. Unfortunately, the Villanova director, Joe Lucia, had his car broken into last evening and his laptop was stolen. So, no demo! But it was extremely interesting to sit in and hear a group of deans and directors from our peer institutions discuss an assortment of common interests and issues.

Tomorrow, I head home. But, I plan to stop by the PALINET booth first thing, where Villanova’s technology staff will show me VuFind. Hopefully, that will allow the expected overnight snowfall to melt before I hit Rt. 95.

Susan’s Sunday in Philadelphia

Sunday, January 13, 2008 6:40 pm
Top Technology Trends
Top Technology Trends

I started off the day bright and early, attending the Top Technology Trends committee meeting. It was different than the one I went to a year earlier. Since it is Midwinter, it was more informal, with the technology gurus seated around a table having an informal discussion about technology trends. Those of us who went to observe sat in chairs around the edge of the room. Since not all committee members were able to be here, a valiant attempt was made to connect one member virtually via Skype. It didn’t work seamlessly, but it was a nice touch since, after all, it was a technology session with a room full of geeks. What struck me was that instead of hearing much talk about far out “new” potential technologies, the greatest portion of the 2 hours was spent discussing topics we are all grappling with: liability and security concerns regarding storing documents remotely (ie on Goggle servers), implications for equipment and services when the Web becomes the operating system and the application server, and why our organizations are so far behind in providing adequate server space for their constituents when Goggle will give gigs away for free. A most interesting exchange concerned the difficulty these folks are having at their home institutions getting their IT units to provide locally housed and controlled wiki and blog space (Yea, ZSR for being ahead of this trend!)

Two interesting concepts that Karen Schneider discussed were the “architecture of participation” and the “architecture of aesthetics.” The first refers to the whole Library 2.0 movement of user involvement and empowerment and how many commercial vendors (ie Library Thing) get it, when major library vendors (OCLC was mentioned) still don’t. The architecture of aesthetics is her way of describing that users are making it known, in many different ways, that aesthetics count. Of course, the most current example of this is the IPhone. That sparked a discussion of ebooks and their aesthetics and functionality. And, Erik will be thrilled to hear this, a big discussion took place about what Erik coined “federated services.” (No, Erik they called it “seamless fulfillment”, but they were talking about exactly what you recognized a need for 2 years ago: the technology and interface that allows a user to request some service or item in a single place without him having to know at all what will take place behind the scenes to fulfill his needs). Other familiar topics included copyright, digital storage, preservation storage, the coming of age of open source and what users want from libraries! Finally, in the last 10 minutes they did a lightening round where some hot new trends were mentioned oh so briefly: location awareness, cloud computing, green computing and surface computing. Hopefully, these are discussed in more depth in the LITA blog where the trends are posted.

Lauren on Saturday

Sunday, January 13, 2008 2:19 pm

Yesterday was pretty busy, so I didn’t get a chance to write up my notes for blogging until I got back to my hotel (without internet)… so here’s what I wrote up, posted in quick succession:

I attended the LITA Interest Group/Committee Chair meeting where we got information about chairing responsibilities and saw a few familiar faces. Immediately after that I went to the LITA Interest Group Chair meeting where we covered finer details of program planning. I co-chaired the Distance Learning Interest Group meeting, where we had a really good turn-out. (Now I only need a co-chair!!) I went to the Emerging Leaders World Cafe and brainstormed about how to make ALA better. I went to the ACRL Women’s Studies Section meeting where we made announcement about committee progress and interesting projects going on in our own institutions. & I finished the day with a lovely meal with Mary and Susan. It was nice to see people that I knew from back home!

Now I’m wrapping up Sunday… but I’ve not had a chance to do much posting yet.

Library 2.0 Publication Podcast Interview

Saturday, January 12, 2008 4:20 pm
Library 2.0 Publication Podcast Interview
Library 2.0 Publication Podcast Interview

This morning I had a new conference experience. Most of you know that Erik, Caroline and I recently authored a chapter in the new ACRL book “Library 2.0: Initiatives in Academic Libraries.” The publisher invited authors who planned to attend ALA Midwinter to be interviewed about our projects on a podcast. It will be linked from the ACRL site and from the project wiki. I was joined by Dawn Lawson from NYU, who used Facebook for outreach to East Asian Studies students. It was an enjoyable experience, although I’m sure either Erik or Caroline would have been better spoken. The interview was conducted by David Free (coincidentally the editor of C&RL News where Lynn’s and my South article will soon appear!). Kathryn Deiss, ACRL’s Content Strategist joined us and hosted the interview in her hotel room.

This afternoon was my one committee obligation. As you may recall, I’m on the Instructional Technologies Committee which is charged with writing 2-3 “Tips and Trends” articles each year. I volunteered to partner up with another committee member to write about the use of Facebook in Library Instruction. But unlike others in our library, my committee is fairly one dimensional, meaning we get all our business conducted in one two hour session. It was interesting to learn that our chair’s plan to have a mid year conference call to supplement the face-to-face meeting today was turned down by ACRL powers because there are strict procedures for asking for extra meetings and adhering to a strict notification procedure 10 days prior to holding such a meeting. Geez…..

I just finished up my day with a lovely visit with our regional representative from ExLibris, John Straw. I wanted to start the conversations we must soon have about Meridian’s future, EnCompass for Digital Collections’ future, and Voyager’s overall viability in the ExLibris product line. I did find out there is discussion of porting Voyager to Linux and saw a very quick demo of the new WebVoyage interface for 7.0. We talked about lining up times to preview DigiTool and Verde. I did nab 2 pens and one mint life saver. Let’s just say that the schwag Giz is so fond of was scarce in the exhibit hall today!

Finally, here’s my people siting report: I literally ran into Debbie Nolan in the exhibit hall. She had larengitis so I had plenty of opportunity to fill her in on all the activities at ZSR. She sends her greetings to all of you. I also made a visit to the Alibris booth to say hi and check up on my new duathlon partner Billy O’Banks (AKA Bill Kane). He reported he has been in a tapering training mode in his travels the past week, but will back to the training grindstone this coming week. Lastly, Mary H. and I plan to meet up with Lauren for dinner, and she is picking out the restaurant. Seemed only fair since Mary and I will eat anything.

Greetings from Phillie!

Saturday, January 12, 2008 3:21 pm

Hello everyone. Greetings from sunny and warm Philadelphia. Much of my conference time is/will be spent doing association business; that doesn’t make for interesting reading, so I’ll try to keep it brief.

Yesterday, I met with the GODORT Steering Committee. This meeting takes place at the start of the conference and the chairs of the various committees and task forces meet with the roundtable officers to share information about what they are planning to do at the upcoming conference. We also talk about some issues that are of interest to the organization as a whole, such as virtual membership and the new push to open ALA-run listservs to all ALA members, not just those members of individual organizations.

This morning I met with my other committee, the ACRL Bylaws Committee. We approved proposals from two sections who want to amend their bylaws and forwarded those proposals on to the ACRL Board.

This afternoon I spent some time in the Exhibit Hall and saw a friendly face, Bill Kane, at the Alibris booth.

I was able to go to part of the GODORT update and did hear two good presentations that might be of general interest. The first was by David Oldenkamp from Indiana University. He talked about a search engine he had created: Intergovernmental Organization Search Engine. Google now has a set of tools that allows one to create a customized search engine, called Google Co-op. Other sites that allow one to create customized search engines include Eurekster Swiki. Other search engines that folks might be interested in include one for ALA-RUSA Best Reference Websites and one David called the ‘search engine for the library world’: LISZEN.

Marilyn Parr then provided an update on several projects at the Library of Congress. If you haven’t taken a look at LC’s American Memory Project, I highly recommend it. And, I wouldn’t be a good government information librarian if I didn’t point out A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation especially. Also take a look at this video, which gives a vision for the World Digital Library that is in development.

Susan Arrives for ALA Midwinter 2008

Friday, January 11, 2008 10:26 pm
Bookbinders RestaurantBookbinders Restaurant

This year, ALA Midwinter is being held in Philadelphia. I arrived late this afternoon by car (because a family obligation found me in the DC area the past few days). I’m rooming with Mary Horton at the downtown Marriott, which connects to the Convention Center. Mary arrived yesterday and had meetings to attend today for her committee work.

I have a full day planned for tomorrow, so today was strictly getting settled in and picking up my registration materials. This evening, Mary and I traveled down to a well know Philly restaurant, Bookbinders. We had an excellent meal (crab cakes, scallops AND shrimp).

Lauren at emerging leaders

Friday, January 11, 2008 3:34 pm

In an effort to keep the PD blog readable, I’ve been posting periodic updates to my own blog:

So far it’s been a good experience! We have developed an interesting project, so here’s hoping it goes the way we’re planning!


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