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I’ve officially finished my participation at the ALA conference today, as I’m heading home in the morning. I attended one more session since my earlier post, the session on the Sakai Collaboration and Learning Environment. Sakai is an open source product for research collaboration and is designed to support teaching and learning. The presentation was made by Jim Eng at the University of Michigan and was called “Invading the CLE: Academic Libraries Carve out a Place Inside Sakai.” They have developed a tool that brings citation capabilities into Sakai. The project is called the Sakaibrary Project. If you’d like to test it out, check with me and I’ll give you the login information for the free instance they make available for demonstration purposes.

I hiked a mile up Massachusetts Ave. to meet Mary Horton for lunch. It’s funny, there are 6 of us from ZSR, but we never really see each other except by chance. So I enjoyed having some set plans to catch up with what Mary’s been up to the past few days.

I planned to finish up the day by attending the Top Technology Trends predictions. It’s always an interesting session with all the library technology gurus offering up their crystal balls. I had read about the time and place on the LITA Blog, and jotted down that it was at the Renaissance Hotel. I was just there yesterday for another session and it was right around the corner from where I parked my car. After our lunch, Mary and I caught one of the conference shuttles to get back there (and to the Internet Cafe for her!). The bus we boarded was loaded, we barely got seats. One of the stops was the Mayflower Hotel and 9/10ths of the passengers disembarked. We remarked: “this must be some popular session being held here.” We got back to the Center and were dropped off. I headed briskly over the 3 blocks to the Renaissance Hotel only to wander (with another befuddled librarian) all over the building looking for the assigned room. We never found it, so I gave up and left to head for my family get together in the Md. suburbs. Along the way (lots of stop lights), I studied the conference map that had hotels listed. That’s when I discovered there were two conference hotels with “Renaissance” in their titles, one of them being the “Renaissance Mayflower”. Doh! Well, happily, the trends are always listed on the LITA blog site (shown above).

That was really a fitting end to my conference. I’ll remember it as a productive two days, but one filled with directional and geographic challenges (I admit some were self-induced) that limited me from reporting a 100% satisfying experience.