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Who doesn’t like Chicago? Everyone likes Chicago. In order to not like Chicago, you have to not like cities. Which is valid. I like Chicago, inasmuch as I like cities. I have family in Chicago. During an epic Greek meal on Sunday night I learned that one of my favorite cousins is pregnant. I am happy for her; she is a wonderful person, and will make a wonderful mother.
On Saturday morning I introduced the speakers and moderated the Q&A at the program Streaming Video and Graphic Novels from an Acquisitions Perspective: Unusual Workflows. This was my first experience as chair of a committee (ALCTS AS Organization & Management) spearheading the planning of a conference program. Way back last summer I worked with my committee to conceive and propose it, and throughout the past year I met various deadlines, found two speakers, and finally stepped up to the podium to face the music. Due to contact lens trouble, I was bespectacled, which has a certain dazzling effect on me; it’s possible that none of this happened. But my perception was that the presenters – John Ballestro from Texas A&M and Trey Shelton from Florida – were excellent, audience questions copious, and, ultimately, the program a good one. Coincidentally, we’ve started ramping up our graphic novel collecting here at ZSR, so the presentation slides might prove useful to some people in-house.
That afternoon our committee met and began planning our program for next year. I really need to get started on writing that proposal…
At the Sunday-morning program New Library Management Systems: Are They Giving Us What We Need?, Maria Savova from Claremont Colleges talked about her library system’s migration to OCLC’s WorldShare Management Services (WMS) LSP, while Margaret Briand Wolfe talked about Boston College’s experience as the first live Ex Libris Alma library. Claremont Colleges represent seven separate campuses in Southern California, and as such their migration was not an easy one; in particular Ms. Savova talked about difficulties with seemingly-contradictory reports produced in different modules. Many would agree with her assessment that “OCLC are the victims of their own success,” the universe of data to be sifted in even a well-honed report being so massive as to preclude straightforward results. Ms. Wolfe from BC praised Alma’s canned reports while noting that she has also written some useful Acquisitions-related reports for staff in that area to use. This point was of particular interest to me.
Next, I took a break from Technical Services and academia by attending Building Bridges: Using Research Partnerships to Support Early Literacy in Diverse Communities. Aiming to be a well-rounded person, I watched as public librarians from cool places – Vancouver, BC, western Washington, and Brooklyn, NY – discussed the importance of demographic research to a public library’s decision-making process as it attempts to address local community needs. Julie Iannacone and Vancouver PL realized that demand for kid programming was unending; they could never provide enough. Thus they made the decision to focus their attention on education and support for parents, teachers, and early childhood educators, in addition to providing their usual programming. Smart, no? And I got a free book.
On Sunday afternoon I met for the last time with my (I think of it as mine) division-level ALCTS Planning Committee, off which I was rolling following a three-year term that spanned most of my time at ZSR to date. The committee will be writing a new ALCTS Strategic Plan to replace the one we wrote early on in my time on the committee. Life is to continue without me, apparently. I walked away (mostly) dry-eyed and immediately ran into my boss, Lauren, who was kind enough not to comment on my glasses. I then scurried on to my next program, myopically intrepid, persistent in my faith that there would be more to blog about in what remained of the conference. Alas, I was mistaken.