The PLA Blog | Official Blog of the Public Library Association

Second Day, Just Like the First (Busy!)

I wasn’t expecting to update until this evening, as my schedule was pretty packed, but thanks to my unfortunate talent at writing down number incorrectly, I ended up showing up for a meeting that was actually held yesterday. And so go those fabled plans of mice and men (and people with poor date writing skills). Fortunately, having paid attention at the New Member Reception (thank you Madame President), I had a plan B, and ultimately it makes the whole day just a tiny bit less hectic.

My second day at PLA started early with a breakfast courtsey of H. W. Wilson. Along with some excellent food, I got a further look at the new products coming out Wilson this year. Even in my short 9 year career as a librarian it’s impressive to see these companies adapting to the changing times and especially impressive when it comes from a company celebrating it’s 110th year. And to cap off the morning, the Wilson team supllied me with one of those “ah ha” moments when they mentioned that their new CX designator was literaly the roman numerals for 110. Yes it is the simple things in life that make me happy.

After breakfast I got to attend my first PLA program, “Why Do We Dewey?” In a word, “fascinating” and it certainly left me with a lot of food for thought. I particularly like the way the TSCPL are taking a system already in use (Dewey) and finding ways to legitimately bend it to the more “modern” needs of their patrons. The concept of a browsable nonfiction section has recently been on the minds of many of my fellow librarians at work, and I’m happy now that I can provide them a concrete example of how one system is working to achieve that goal.

And speaking of my fellow workers, my next stop was to check in with some of them in the Placement Services room. Okay, shameless plug alert. If you’re interested in checking out what San Antonio Public Library has to offer in the way of jobs, stop by the booth in the Placement Services room (101 I-J).

Since I had about an hour before my next appointment, I made another run through the exhibit hall. I stopped at a variety of places, but in particular I had a very nice converstation with one of the people at Evergreen. I’m a big fan of Open Source and it’s great to see how these groups are coming along and how polished their products are looking.

After my 2nd tour of the exhibit hall it was time for lunch and yet again (are you detecting a trend here), I managed to combine business with pleasure by attending the Gale luncheon for their new Books and Authors database. It was big treat having a nice lunch, a polished presentation, and an amazing view (the luncheon was held on the 50th floor of the Marquette Hotel). Readers Advisory is kind of my thing and it has been exciting to see so many online developments in this field. From what I saw of Books and Authors, it will be a fine addition in the arsenal of tools that Readers’ Advisors can use.

After lunch, and thanks to my “date mistake” I managed to start this post, but did not actually manage to finished it. I was interrupted by the need to decend to the lower levels of the conference center in order to attend one of the first afternoon sessions. Originally I thought I would be attending something about taking online services to the next level, but the room I arrived at turned out to be the encore presentation of Technozoo. Not exactly what I was looking for, but great fun nonetheless. Mr. Souza was an energetic and amusing speaker and even though I consider myself quite the geek, even I saw some stuff that I wasn’t at all familar with. In additional, as is often the case with a topic you think you “know,” hearing it come from an admitted “non-librarian” gave me some pause for thought and raised some issues that hadn’t occurred to be before. A mixed blessing to be sure, but I don’t think I will ever complain about having new things to think about.

Down to one last session for the day. I’m off to Readers’ Advisory Took Kit III. I think I already know what I’m not going to like about it…the fact that I didn’t get to see RA Tool Kits I and II. :-)