My committee met for the second time this conference at 8am on Monday. The most exciting thing was when our chair reported that the proposed Section name change we put together had been accepted by the Section’s Executive Board. Announcements of the change will be sent out in the coming weeks. Of course, this means my committee has some work to do. So we spent the rest of the meeting figuring out the schedule for the coming months in preparation for the ALA Midwinter meeting (January 2008…far away…yet so close). [Update: apparently there are a few more steps that have been made clear before everything is official and announcements can be made. But once those steps are taken care of, onward ho!]
Most of the committee wanted to attend the ALCTS 50th Anniversary President’s Program on “Ambient Findability” with speaker Peter Morville. The room was packed. Ironically, it was competing with a session that featured Julie Andrews, but it didn’t seem to impact the turnout at all. Unfortunately, I haven’t finished his book, also titled Ambient Findability, quite yet, but I have started it. His presentation was very interesting, talking about how we must learn from the past to design for the future, and addressing issues of the user experience, alternate interfaces, library2.0, web2.0, and the intersection of people and content among others. He referenced a large number of works, so now my reading list has grown by leaps and bounds. And I’m really looking forward to finishing his book soon.
Afterwards I met up with my good friend KM for lunch. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a lot of time between sessions, and definitely not nearly enough time to catch up on each others’ lives. We ended up eating at Ella’s Wood Fired Pizza. I had their very yummy “Pucillo” pizza with smoked mozzarella, prosciutto, arugula, and tomatoes. KM had a salad with an amazing garlic vinaigrette. The restaurant was between the session by Peter Morville and the hotel where my next session was, so that made it quite convenient. Fortunately, it was also very tasty. If you’re looking for really good wood fired pizza, check out Ella’s.
My last meeting of the conference was the Continuing Resources Cataloging Committee Update Forum. It is because of this forum that I always stay through Monday at the ALA Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference. The first part of the forum was a series of reports, some of which repeated sessions I attended like CONSER. Other reports updated us on things that we discussed, upcoming or existing task forces on various topics, and updated us on the status of various proposals for changes in MARC21 coding and cataloging practice. Always informative. The second half of the forum consisted of a panel of 3 people discussing their answers to three questions proposed by the committee. These were cataloging specific topics such as the CONSER Standard Record and different ways to access continuing resources. Some interesting ideas were raised, both by the panelists and by comments from the attendees at the end of the presentations. We actually ran out of time, and had to end the session despite the fact that I think we probably could have discussed things for many more hours.
With the adjournment of the forum, my “official” conference business ended for this Annual Conference. It was nice to not have to run someplace else, especially given the blisters on my heels. I put band-aids on my forming blisters, only to have the shoes rub the band-aids, causing more blisters. Ouch. I’ll be wearing sandals with no heel strap for at least a week. A known conference hazard, and no matter what I do, it happens every time. Oh well.
After some downtime, SM and I decided that for dinner we needed to return to Thai Kingdom. SM wanted more Pad Thai, and Thai food sounded really good to me. And it was just so good on Thursday night, we had to go back. I let my friend CH know, and he decided to join us. SM and I both got Pad Thai (she got chicken, I got vegetarian), and CH got a chicken in a spicy peanut sauce. And it was delicious, again. I’ll be keeping this restaurant on my list of places to go when I’m in DC.
SM decided to have some downtime to herself in the hotel room, so I headed out for drinks with CH and a bunch of library product coders (i.e. OPAC coders/developers) back at at RFD (Regional Food & Drink). It ended up really entertaining and interesting. But kind of scary at the same time when I realized that in a way, I was representing catalogers with these people, trying to answer their questions about cataloging standards, practices, and coding. And then I scared myself when I realized I could actually follow the conversations when they started talking about coding specifics (I am not a programmer, and I’m OK with that). There was more arguing cataloging theory with CH, who happens to get very earnest and excited when he argues about this stuff…which makes it much more fun to argue. I believe we have the same point of view, and have the same vision as to where things are going, but the paths we envision are just a little bit, OK, sometimes a lot, different. I see future cataloging theory discussions in our future.
Again, I was up late (I really gotta work on that), and up early, just like every other night at this conference. This time it wasn’t a meeting, but up early in order to catch my train back home. The train was late by about an hour, which made me a bit cranky in that I could have gotten more sleep. So I napped on the train for the 2 hour trip.
I finally arrived home, only to leave again to pick up the dog from the kennel (she had a bath this time!). Aussie was very happy to see me, and me her. She’s just as exhausted from her weekend as I am and is currently sacked out on her bed, snoring rather loudly.
I need sleep now…it was a very long and very full weekend…I’m feeling rather wrecked…and I have work tomorrow.