By Thomas Dowling

Inside ZSR

Thomas @ ALA

Important takeaways from ALA in New Orleans: The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is not a mile long. It is, however, almost exactly one kilometer long, or 5 furlongs, or about 1200 steps. Naturally, ALA’s meetings were divided between the two ends. You can spend three enjoyable days in New Orleans without setting foot on... more

Thomas and Lauren @ FOLIO Day

On Monday (5/7), Lauren and I traveled down the ever delightful I-40 to Durham, to attend a one-day meet-up about FOLIO, held as part of the first ever WOLFcon (decoder ring settings: a meet-up is an infrequent in-person gathering of a mostly online community; WOLFcon is the World OLF Conference; OLF is the Open Library... more

Thomas in Denver/DC for LITA/CNI

A couple of weeks ago, I flew out to Denver for LITA Forum. By the way, the options for flying from Charlotte (major American Airlines hub) to Denver (major United hub) are pretty meager, so if you want to know what Highway 52 is like at 4:45am, I can tell you! As a recent LITA... more

One Week in October – A Newb at NCLA, Too Much Change, and Tech Fatigue

“What’s your vision for the library of 2027?” “The technology will finally work right.” (Audience participation moment at NCLA keynote address.) So with the state library association holding its biennial conference more or less in our back yard, I figured I should check it out (and, ahem, join NCLA). It seemed that half of ZSR... more

Thomas @ ALA Annual 2017

Let’s see, how many Chicago conferences is this now? There was the one with the blizzard, and the other one with the even bigger blizzard; the Midwinter when it was just rainy and foggy; the Annual when it was just rainy and foggy; the summer it was ridiculously hot; the time I had a 101... more

Thomas @ Midwinter 2017

ALA Midwinter has become a vendor exhibition with some committee meetings filling in around the edges. If you’ve ever chuckled at a poster or coffee mug that says, “I survived another meeting that should have been an e-mail”? That. Maybe we want an annual vendor exhibition, but I have trouble seeing the continuing need for... more

Thomas @ CNI

I know what you’re thinking: “Hey, Thomas is at ALA, not CNI. The poor guy is so confused” (or words to that effect). Which I usually am, but on opening up my note taking app to jot down a few things about Midwinter, I found my notes on CNI meetings from back in December. Consider... more

Thomas @ LITA Forum

I attended the LITA Forum November 17-20, held in Fort Worth, Texas. As past president, I also served on the planning committee for this meeting (and I now have abiding respect for anyone who has to find, select, and haggle with conference venues). Coming just a week and a half after the election, there were... more

TANSTAAFL: Thomas @ ALA

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