From the catalogs of babes











{July 13, 2010}   delayed ALA recap

Yeah, yeah, I know. ALA was over weeks ago and probably most people have forgotten about it and moved on by now. I wasn’t even going to mention it, since I don’t really have all that much to say–I spent most of my time being a DC tourist and seeing the city and the museums and the monuments. Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I’m prepared to come back to DC again for the next conference (since it does seem to be a hot location for such things).

I had a really hard time just getting into the ALA conference mindset this year. I would see sessions listed in the program schedule and think “oh, I should totally go to that, it would be really applicable to my job…oh wait.” Because I don’t have that job anymore. So I ended up skipping a lot of sessions I’d normally attend. I tried to go to things that might be relevant to my upcoming studies, but most of those ended up bust–the session I went to about publishing for the profession was really too basic for me (great as an intro, though) and one pane lthat I tried to attend, a panel of graduate student research presenations, not a single presenter showed up. Not the best ALA for me. Oh well.

I did manage to squeeze my way into the back of the room for the Year of Cataloging Research presentation, and I also got to speak to a whopping 8 or so people about using local note fields to recommend library resources. I also got to meet a couple of you blog readers and commenters in the flesh, which is always a treat, so there’s that!

All in all, I always like the in-person aspects of the conference, but this year’s ALA conference left me a little disappointed. Whether it was my perspective or the conference itself, or some combination of both, I don’t know. Not sure about next year, although I have never been to New Orleans…

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{June 22, 2010}   the swing of things

Hi all. I’ve been away.

Despite not starting the Ph.D. program until September, I decided to leave my position at my former library at the end of May, and spend my summer vacation break sabbatical finishing some lingering projects as well as doing some traveling. I feel like it’s not often in our lives when we might get such an opportunity to take a few months off with the security that there’s something waiting for us at the end of it.

Despite my intentions otherwise, I’ve so far kind of turned my brain off to cataloging and libraries…I haven’t been reading many articles or following the blogs I usually do or any of that. While it’s nice to have a vacation of sorts, I know I need to get back in the swing of things shortly, or it’ll just be detrimental in the long run.

I wasn’t going to go to ALA, but my sweetie is going for work and I weaseled my way into a last-minute speaking gig there on Sunday. I’ll be part of a panel for the RUSA Catalog Use Committee’s “Lightning Rounds” session on Sunday, June 27, from 4-5:30 p.m. (EMB-Capital A). The theme is “Innovations in Catalog Use” and each presenter will have about 5 minutes to share a tip or innovation that worked (or didn’t!) for their library and catalog. Personally, I’m excited about the format–I think the short presentations combined with the practical tips will make this a really accessible and helpful session, and I hope if you’re at ALA you’ll come by to see it.

Also while I’m shamelessly self-promoting, if you’re going to be at ALA, make sure to check out the quilts up for silent auction at the entrance to the exhibits. I helped work on these, and all proceeds go to fund scholarships.

ALA Wonky Log Cabin front

You know you want to bid on some awesome quilts made by librarians.

Washington DC wasn’t exactly the travel I had in mind when I set out to take a summer vacation (I was thinking more like a month or two in Australia…), but I trust that things work themselves out this way for a reason. I confess it feels a little weird to be attending a conference without a specific library or position to tie it back to–I find myself interested in attending very different sessions than when I was working at the fashion library. I also find myself not quite such a slave driver to make every single remotely relevant session from 7 a.m. until 7 at night…I’m much more motivated to be a tourist this time around. I’ve never been to DC and I’m looking forward to seeing the Nation’s Capitol and the Smithsonian and all that good stuff.

So if you’re in DC for ALA, I hope you’ll say “hi!” and help me get back in the swing of things.



{July 15, 2009}   report from ALA

I’m here to report that librarians still like cardigans. Which is good because despite the fantastic Chicago weather, the meeting rooms were, as always, over-air-conditioned.

I’m also here to report that librarians also apparently like shirtdresses, especially ones from Target, as I saw no less than 3 conference attendees wearing this (I know we’re in a recession with budget cutbacks and all, but it’s still a little tacky to show up in the same dress…):

shirtdress

 

Oh, wait, you wanted a report about cataloging? My bad. It’s probably saying something that I seemed to be paying more attention to style than sessions. Some good stuff here and there, but many of the sessions seemed redundant to me, and mostly I felt like I was hearing things I’d already heard multiple times before and had already written about right here in this very blog. I guess that’s good in some ways–the ideas are picking up momentum and spreading–but personally I’m more interested in seeing what’s on the horizon than the water we’re in now, much less what’s already rushed under the bridge.



{July 12, 2009}   Dear ALA,

I know schedule conflicts are unavoidable, and I know you can’t please all of the people all of the time, but really, what were you thinking scheduling two of the most important cataloging-related sessions of the entire conference in the same time slot??

 

1:30 PM – 5:30 PM on 07/12   
The Future is Now: Global Authority Control

Location: McCormick Place West in W-179
Unit: LITA/ALCTS – Subunit: n/a
 

1:30 PM – 5:30 PM on 07/12   
Catalog Use and Usability Studies: What Do They Show and How Should This Evidence Affect Our Decision-Making?

Location: McCormick Place West in W-196c

Unit: ALCTS/RUSA – Subunit: n/a


{July 9, 2009}   on my way

I’m on my way to Chicago for the ALA Annual Conference. I’m very excited for some of the sessions, and I’m very, very excited because I’ve never been to Chicago before!

I hope to run into some fellow blog readers and writers there. If you see me, feel free to say hi. I’ll be the one attempting to be fashionable in the humidity of Chicago in July (and failing miserably).



et cetera