ALA: Saturday July 11th

Yesterday morning, I made my way over to the Hyatt for an EBSCO focus group.  We’re looking at ideas for a new version of NoveList.  I found the entire morning incredibly enjoyable, met some very knowledgeable professionals and came away with new perspectives and ideas on my own thoughts about databases, sites we use as “tools” and the amount of content we can invite users to contribute.  I hope to continue working with NoveList through participation in this focus group and contributing my ideas from a catalogue perspective – what works, what doesn’t, what the literature says and how we can push the bar to a higher level, taking NoveList beyond what other professionals thought possible.  From my understanding of the company, and having met Duncan Smith and spoken with him, it seems as if they are a company that is keen on new ideas, pushing the envelope and, to a reasonable degree, taking chances on innovative ideas. 

After the focus group, I had to (unfortunately) rush off to the Hilton for the session Continuing the Conversation: A further exploration of the brave new world of metadata.  To my dismay, I reach the Hilton after the session started – and lost the location!  So, after having searched frantically for the room and asked countless librarians, I gave up hope.  However, there was a light.

I met Barbara Tillett for lunch and told her about my missed session, expressing my dissapointment.  It turns out that Barbrara presented at this session, so although I missed it, I’ll be able to not only get the slides, but ask questions that I have.  That’s good, because it was one of the sessions I was really looking forward to.

After lunch, we thought we’d grab the very *quick* shuttle over to the convention centre.  No so!  The line was incredibly long.  Three buses later, and after about a 45 minute wait, we were off.  Barbara and I arrived late to the RDA session, getting in during the middle of the RDA demo.  This session was largely geared toward creating an awareness of what is coming, the tools that will be available to help us and that RDA will not only impact cataloguers, but all staff and, in the end, our users.  This is the same idea we presented at APLA this past June, when Barbara came to Halifax.  FRBR and RDA have, up until this point, been largely ignored by the library community because it’s been considered a cataloguing issue.  But now that it is a reality, we need to pass on to our non-cataloguing colleagues that they need to see the relevance of RDA in their own jobs.  We have our work cut out for us.

During a break in the session, Barbara and I ran through the exhibits.  Wow.  I can’t believe the amount of vendors!  I’m hoping to get back to the stacks, however, taking more time to talk with vendors I work with and picking up some literature on new products. However, given that this is my first ALA, it’s certainly nice to have someone around to help me find my way or answer questions about how shuttles work.

And now, it’s a new day.  I’m having lunch with Keith Powell, who chaired the Esther J. Piercy award committee and then, possible going to the Ex Libris session (although I’m still debating this).  And tonight – the award ceremony.

In the meantime, here are some photos I took while out and about in Chicago.  I’m going to try and get some of the stacks and conference today.

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Filed under Conferences, future of cataloguing, Our Profession

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