Wednesday, May 2nd, 2007
Today was the “bonus” day for CONSER. Normally, the annual operations meeting is only two days, but due to the CONSER Standard Record, an extra day was added to discuss it this year.
And discuss it we did. The room was packed. I’m fairly certain we violated several fire codes with too many people, too many chairs, and all in a rather small room with only one small door. No tables to write on. [Caution: begin rant] This is a pet peeve of mine. I have short legs, legs that usually barely reach the floor. Which means when I don’t have a surface to write on, my legs must be tensed in order to provide a stable and flat surface that my paper won’t slide off of. Even more difficult, where do you put your cup of coffee (necessary for survival) and possibly your snack where you or anyone else will NOT kick it? There really is no perfect place. Oh well. [end rant]
We started the day with two of our colleagues reviewing the CONSER Standard Record and it’s elements, highlighting the changes to cataloging from past practice. They did a very good job, however, one of them, V, needs to switch to decaf. She’s a petite woman, and is far far too energetic. The kind of high energy person that can be likened to a hamster on speed at times (visualize a hamster running on it’s wheel at high speed…yeah, like that). It was almost too much to take at 10:00 in the morning. But we all survived, and like I said before, the overview was very well done.
B and I ventured outside for lunch, deciding to walk down the street until something caught our fancy. Getting outside becomes very important when you’re in a windowless room in the middle of the Madison Building of the Library of Congress with 50 of your colleagues for hours upon hours. You need the fresh air. We decided upon a place called Taverna the Greek Islands (305 Pennsylvania Avenue SE). We both had a very nice salad with gyro meat on top. It was filling without being too much, so we wouldn’t be falling asleep during the afternoon session.
The afternoon was dedicated to discussion of various questions and issues that came up during the morning’s overview. Someone did not get lunch, as they categorized (we’re catalogers, what did you expect?) and typed up the list of items from the various scrawled notes written down on flip charts during the morning presentation. This discussion was relatively calm, much to our surprise, but our esteemed CONSER Coordinator probably could have used a whistle on several occasions just to get people’s attention. Fortunately, V, the high-energy presenter, was there to get our attention for him. We did not, however, solve all the issues that were raised. Meaning that the discussion would be continuing the next day.
After the meeting adjourned, a group of around 8 of us headed out to find some beverages and to rehash the day. I’ve learned that frequently discussions continue well after the meetings are over, usually over a beverage or two, and I always learn something, so it’s worth my time. That and I enjoy the company of my colleagues even when we aren’t discussing work-related issues. This time was a happy combination of continued discussion and general fun. We wandered down Pennsylvania Avenue until we came to a bar that several members of our group had been to before. I have no idea what the name of it was, but I will find it again. They made a damn good vodka martini, exactly the way I asked, and bonus, it was happy hour so it didn’t break the bank. We sat and chatted, decompressing from the day of discussion, until it was time to get back for dinner.
Dinner was an arranged dinner for CONSER members at the nearby Young Chow (312 Pennsylvania Avenue SE). It was a set menu of tea, soup, egg rolls, and a variety of meat dishes, served family style at two tables of 10 people each. And all for 10 dollars, including tax and tip. The food was good, the service was great, and it was very inexpensive. Who can ask for more?
After dinner it was back to the b&b to rest up for day 2 of this year’s CONSER meeting. What would tomorrow bring? Besides more discussion of the CONSER Standard Record, of course.