ALA Annual 2007: day 2

My first meeting today was at 8:00AM. My committee meeting. I managed to drag myself out of bed (no easy feat) in time to find coffee before the meeting. I arrive at a Starbucks that’s on my way to the hotel that my committee meeting is at, and am informed that there’s going to be a 3 minute wait as they are brewing a new batch of drip coffee. That’s OK, I believe I’ll wait. Armed with my fresh (and large) cup of coffee, I made it to my meeting on time and like Midwinter, we had a list of tasks to accomplish, including some group editing of documents. We did successfully complete what we needed to complete for today’s meeting, and our chair has things to discuss with the section board before our meeting on Monday, where we have a whole other list of things to do. There’s a lot going on for us this year, but it’s all good stuff, so it’s exciting.

After our meeting (we even managed to end a bit early), I headed out with EM to the Convention Center to walk through the exhibits for a bit before meeting up with people for lunch. The exhibits is a maze of vendors, aisles and aisles of vendors with demonstrations, give aways (swag!), and people to talk to you about their products. And don’t forget the authors that come and do book signing at various booths. It’s intense. I’ve learned to spread it out over a few days. I do try to pick up some of the swag to take back to work for my colleagues that couldn’t be here, as well as picking up some sticky-notes and pens for myself to use at work. Many publishers also bring uncorrected proofs of books to be published soon or advanced reader copies that they make available for free. It’s a great way to pick up interesting new authors that I wouldn’t necessarily hear about otherwise since I don’t deal with library acquisitions. I now have a stack of things to read for this summer and fall that I’m really excited about.

I grabbed a quick bite to eat before heading off to the NMRT President’s Program on intergenerational workplaces. The speaker was interesting and entertaining. She’s been doing presentations on this topic for many years now. There were a couple of things that stood out to me during her presentation. One, “resistance to change” is a meaningless phrase. People aren’t resistant, it’s much more complex than that. She believes there are two aspects to it, that people don’t know HOW to learn (i.e. don’t know their own learning style) and that there’s a fear of humiliation and of losing status in the workplace.

The second thing that stood out for me is that she considers training to be “necessary overhead” rather than something that’s optional. And the last thing she discussed, what she really stressed, is to forget about putting people into categories of “generations.” The best option is to think about people in the workplace as if we were all born the exact same year, and view those differences usually defined as “generational” as different approaches and different ways people function. Interesting viewpoint. I’ve never much subscribed to the idea that Gen X is so different than Gen Y and that the Baby Boomers are still different than both. I know too many people of all different ages that I get along with. So basically I agree with her viewpoint.

I had to book it back to the conference center for my next session, the RDA Update Forum. We had the standard report on the status of RDA, the, ahem, modified (yet again) timeline, the development, etc. The powerpoint presentation does change a little bit each time as they finish a new chapter, and it’s interesting to see how it is all coming together. This time there was a new presentation on how RDA as a content standard will work with other metadata formats like Dublin Core. The idea is that RDA will be cross-applicable with different formats, and there are groups starting to form to look at how it’s going to work.

After the Forum I headed back to my hotel to meet up with my roommates, JT and SM. We went for dinner at Busboys and Poets on the recommendation of a friend of mine that lives in the area (but isn’t a librarian). It’s a combination cafe, bar, and bookstore. I had a very yummy pizza for dinner, the Mediterranean, with spinach, olives, tomatoes and feta cheese with a pesto sauce (yes, pictures will be available on my Flickr account soon). To wash it down, they had a good Belgian white ale on tap. SM and I both enjoyed the beer, it was light and smooth, a perfect summer time ale. Both SM and JT got sandwiches, and said they were delicious. SM tried my pizza as well and gave it two thumbs up. I hereby heartily endorse Busboys and Poets as a great place for food. What made it better was the setting. There is a mix of traditional tables and chairs as well as couches for you to sit at. We got to sit on nice comfy couches while we ate. And the customers were as diverse and eclectic as the setting. Made for a very pleasant environment to just relax and wind down after a hectic day.

After eating, I convinced them to go to Kramerbooks with me for more socializing, using the argument that we did one cafe/bookstore/bar for dinner, they really should see the other one. We met up with EM and some of her friends from former workplaces, were joined by LH and WT (engagement toast!!), and just hung out for a bit. Argued some cataloging theory with CH (a new friend thanks to EM), discussed hockey, what it’s like to live in different cities, etc. A good time was had by all. But knowing we all had an early start, people started heading back to hotels fairly early. A few of us die hards stuck around until after midnight, but not too late, knowing that we’d pay for it at our 8am meetings (ok, I’d pay for it at MY 8am meeting) the next morning.

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About slmcdanold

I’m learning to laugh at myself on a daily basis. I’m a librarian (cataloger) and I love it. My job involves all things metadata related in any and all formats. I have been known to cause a ruckus when necessary (aka troublesome cataloger) and make no apologies for it. I have a passion for continuing education and teaching. I’m a newbie coder (still learning). I like to cook. I’m a fan of rugby (go Australian Wallabies!) and ice hockey (go Detroit Red Wings!). I’m car-free and bike/walk a lot. I’m learning to love running one stride at a time. I own (and love) a very mouthy cat with a punk attitude and a slightly neurotic rescue mutt.
This entry was posted in ALA, conferences, food, Washington DC, work. Bookmark the permalink.

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