Saturdays and Sundays seem to always be the busiest at Midwinter, and this one was no different.
Alexander Street Press Breakfast
Susan and I started the day bright and early with the Alexander Street Press breakfast. It’s always a great event. First, I really think Alexander Street Press understands where information is moving, and they’re leading edge thinkers about how to provide content for users now and in the future. Second, they host a great speaker (and provide a great looking breakfast). So, for leading edge issues: they now have a database of graphic novel/comic materials. Perhaps even more exciting, they are figuring out ways to allow users to search through video content quickly and locate specific spots in the video the user needs. It’s amazing stuff. As for their speaker, this year, because of the new database, they invited Art Spiegelman. He was an engaging speaker and gave me a lot to think about (in terms of conveying information in text and space, using images to cause people to think critically about culture, displacing norms)…. it was a great talk. He also helped me justify my recent interest in graphic novels. Susan and I both had felt torn between the breakfast and LITA’s Top Tech Trends, so at the Q&A session, we ducked out for the tail end of the techy program.
LITA’s Top Tech Trends
We got into this session about an hour into it, so we missed some of the lead in. There was standing room only, but it was interesting enough to merit standing for the hour we were there. While we were there, the discussed trends included: changing in publishing paradigm (for books and newspapers), the broadband divide, and changing displays. When asked how many in the audience have more than one monitor at their workspace, I was surprised that it seemed over half raised their hand. I wonder if it is the norm, or if a techy crowd would be more likely than a non-techy crowd.
But the most important part of this year’s Top Tech Trends was the use of technology. It was amazing. Official tags allowed audience members (both in the room and across the country) to follow what was going on in various channels. Ustream surpassed 20 people. The FriendFeed room pulled everything together. This was exactly how it should be. LITA demonstrating how these tools can be applied to allow ALA to positively impact more people in the profession. It’s good for us as professionals looking to learn more, it’s good marketing (I knew we could still go to Top Tech Trends because of the Twitter messages I was getting in my breakfast session), and it’s good practice as information professionals. Kudos to Jason Griffey, BIGWIG, and TTT for showing how it can be done.
Women’s Studies Section All Committees Meeting
I’m halfway into my last year of involvement with the WSS Instruction Committee. This was the most welcoming place when I started getting involved with ALA, and I’ve now been part of it for so long that I can’t be reappointed. It’s kindof bittersweet. I love the WSS, the work they do, the spirit of the committee, but I can tell I’m getting spread a bit to thinly within ALA, and need to narrow down my involvement. I can tell that the shift will be towards LITA, which means I won’t be seeking appointment on a new WSS committee. I was, however, reminded that I can still go to the Feminists Night Out party and see everyone. The Instruction Committee is doing interesting work. We’re rewriting the Information Literacy standards for Women’s Studies, and hoping to be able to present on this topic at the National Women’s Studies Association conference. It’s a great project with an ambitious timeline, I’m looking forward to seeing the completed standards as I rotate off.
Committee on the Status of Women in Librarianship
I joined WSS the same conference that I joined COSWL, that means, I’m getting ready to rotate off this committee, too. It’s a little weird to me that my introduction to ALA was a Council Committee. I had no idea what a rare opportunity that was at the time I was first appointed. It’s been an amazing opportunity to learn about the way ALA functions and what you have to do to get things done. I’ve met awesome people in this group, too. Every once in a while there is a question of the value of COSWL, due to lack of activity or a question of if there is an equality issue or what the role of the group should be in a heavily female profession. We’ve done a good job over the last three years of keeping active and involved so those questions wouldn’t be asked. However, this meeting, there were only three members present (we were outnumbered by observers). We talked about the nature of committees formed by presidential appointment, and partnerships that could lead to a productive term. We agreed that all the virtual work the committee had been doing was a good thing, and we would continue doing so (including using the listserv to find a time that would fit more people’s schedules).
LITA Web Coordinating Committee
This was my first meeting with the LITA Web Coordinating Committee. I am starting this term as part of my commitment to LITA for their sponsorship of me in the Emerging Leaders program. It takes a while to figure out the social dynamics of a committee, the charge, and what the committee is actually able to do. I’m still feeling it out. It does look like there might be some changes to the site in the next year or so, though, so I’ll probably be around for that.
Dinner and the Tattered Cover Bookstore
This ALA I’ve been worn out and a bit more introverted than normal, so just like last night, I came back to the hotel instead of going out to two social events on my calendar. Sarah was here, so we went to dinner and the Tattered Cover Bookstore. I went looking for Maus because of this morning’s speaker, but wasn’t able to find it. I suspect it was because a number of us had the same idea and I just got there too late. I did find something I’ve been meaning to read, and Sarah and I spent a while poking around. I love the variety of materials available at independent bookstores. Great stuff! As I checked out, I asked the person at the register if they had been doing a lot of business. He said they had, and that they love librarians. I told him we love independent bookstores, too.
And, with that, Sarah and I headed home and I’ve been blogging ever sense. Tomorrow will be much slower. I have two things on the calendar. I also have 7 different presentations to give when I get back to work, so I’m guessing after I finish up I’ll head back to the hotel to get started planning those. It’s a hectic week… but all the stuff is interesting, so I really can’t complain!