Author Archive


ALA Annual marked the end of my year as president of LITA, which was a rewarding experience, even if it did lead to a number of Thomas @ ALA posts that were almost entirely about process and policy. And this is another of them (lucky you!). TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free... more

International Data Privacy Day

Happy International Data Privacy Day! January 28 is an international holiday* focused on raising awareness about the importance of online data privacy. This year, the Electronic Freedom Frontier is emphasizing the need to protect student privacy, most notably in a Google Apps for Education environment (which includes us). Google has been especially criticized for how... more

Thomas – Hither and Yon

I’ve done so much travel recently, I must be just about as developed as Charles Atlas, but only professionally developed, which looks a little different on the outside. I’ll summarize, as each of these meetings had one or two “price of admission” moments. I’ve also had oddly charmed weather karma, as noted below. LITA Forum,... more

Thomas @ ALA

You remember that scene in L.A. Story where the Wacky Weekend Weather Guy is replaced by George Plimpton intoning, “Sunny. 72. Our next weather forecast will be in four days”? That’s me at ALA through next summer. Not exciting, and not much variation. [Day 0: At Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 6:30am, deprived of sleep,... more

TPD @ ALA Midwinter

For the record, ALA Midwinter can slog on through one of Chicago’s top five all-time snow storms. But there should be an honor roll of people who made it to LITA Happy Hour on Sunday night. With the confluence of Linus and Left Shark, it was a strange evening. This is the beginning of a... more

Thomas Takes Left Turn at Albuquerque, Ends Up in DC

TPD at LITA Forum and CNI Last month (where does the time go?), I was in Albuquerque for the LITA National Forum. I can’t say strongly enough what a good, small conference this is for topics on applying technology to library projects (the 2015 Forum will be in Minneapolis, which will simplify travel – I... more

Thomas @ ALA Annual 2014

“I want you to know that we’re on our way to Las Vegas to find the American Dream…this is a very ominous assignment-with overtones of personal danger.” Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas The show so far: It’s hot. But it’s a dry heat, you say? Shya. At 110, hot is just... more

Thomas at USETDA

The week before last, I attended (and spoke at) the US ETD Association annual conference, in Claremont, California. This is an organization that works to improve the policies and practices involved in managing electronic theses and dissertations. ETD people tend to be strong supporters of open access, so there was a lot of discussion of... more

Thomas at ALA – Part II: The Revenge

Some less-than-stellar ALA programs reminded me of a couple catch-phrases from an old music ed. professor. First, “a good example of a bad example”. Or in other words, some guaranteed ways to make people walk out of your program in droves: Don’t have or follow an agenda Don’t alert the incoming crowd to the fact... more

Thomas at ALA – The Show So Far

After a friendly conversation with a very patient lady at the ALA registration desk, it turned out that the reason they had no record of my registration was…I hadn’t actually remembered to register. So that’s a shining start to the conference. Friday afternoon I went to LITA 101, a gentle introduction to ALA’s coolest little... more

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