Best of PubLib ALA Midwinter Exhibit Hall Review

Best of PubLib at the ALA Midwinter Meeting Exhibit Hall Review

This week,  Best of Publib covered the ALA Exhibit Hall at the Boston Convention Center.   The HD video below includes hundreds of vendor displays.  We hope it will help you imagine the experience if you were not able to attend, or help refresh and reinforce what you learned.  

 
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Boston Convention and Exhibition Center

The Boston Convention Center was an excellent venue for ALA. The train brought us to South Station - just a few minutes away from the hotels and convention amenities.   There are many local publishers and library suppliers within a short distance, so start-ups and unique product suppliers could present affordably.  And, Boston rocks!  The Freedom Trail, Duck Tours , along with world-class museums and libraries are within short distances of the convention center.  

The organizational effort by ALA and attention to detail by the library vendors was outstanding. It was easy to lose track of time on the exhibit hall floor amidst the panorama and noise.  It took on a casino / carnival atmosphere with prizes to win and vendors pitching their games. High above, you could use the Food Court sign as a directional beacon.  

Of all the hundreds of vendors represented, we chose to review five.  

The first is : I-Concepts which defines itself as Innovative Concepts for Nonprofit Organizations.  We could imagine many libraries outside of Boston benefiting from this service, along with fostering a general appreciation of local history archives.  If you are looking for a way to both encourage collection use and raise funds - i-concepts may be the answer. The Amelia Earhart print was fascinating.  

LibraryThing.com/forLibraries

The second  is : LibraryThing. Tim Spalding along with his gregarious black-shirted  horde truly represented the best of Open Source, Library 2.0 and viral marketing. They were eager to engage and highly entertaining.  

The third vendor is : LE@D-Lifelong Education @ Desktop from the University of North Texas   This group was absolutely charming and demonstrated infectious enthusiasm for their services. They dressed in some of the most colorful attire at the exhibit.  Le@D  provides highly affording library training. According to Director - Kevin Haney (in the middle with the green shirt) – costs are as low as $15 for a course! Enthusiastic library training -  Deep in the heart of Texas!  

New York Times

The fourth vendor is: The New York Times offering 50% off Home Delivery Service
 Marketing was conducted by On the Avenue Marketing Group with this excellent salesperson hawking half-price subscriptions. She may have been the hardest working individual in the exhibit hall. Yet, it was somehow troubling that this was the limit of representation of the New York Times publishing empire.  

III

The fifth vendor is: III – Innovative Interfaces Incorporated. III is one of the heavy hitters in the Library industry. Many libraries are dependent on their products and they have  a loyal base. I worked on two transitions to III – the first at Brown University from CLSI and the second at CLAN libraries from Horizon. I have used III for over twenty years and find it offers outstanding service. However, what I observed in the exhibit hall was troubling.  

The III booth was very well-appointed and designed with several interactive product displays. It supported a large group of associates to answer questions. Yet, few were actually engaged in discussions with anyone but their co-workers. A librarian approached two of the representatives to thank III for providing a pass to the exhibit hall. One of the representatives took a look at the librarian’s badge and said something to the effect of :

 “Well ______ must have been giving away those passes all along the east coast, we had another librarian from ____ stop by earlier “.

Then the rep rattled off a few names of people they considered important from that same institution and basically dismissed the librarian. There was no sales pitch. No offer to demo. Merely, a dismissal. 

Library Service, especially in the public library sector, ideally levels the playing field. Service is equal. In contrast, some vendor representatives have obviously been instructed to find out the station of the exhibit hall attendee, determine if they were of the buyer / influencer class and dismiss the others. Yet, the nature of libraries and librarians as technology consumers requires generating interest throughout an organization and getting everyone to buy in. If you have six vendor representatives at an exhibit and you don’t have a crowd around your people, then you should generate interest by engaging everyone.  All of the library vendors were start-ups at one point.   

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The exhibit hall may be the most effective way to get hands on experience with some of the newest and most exciting products in the library world.  The meager twenty-five dollar entrance fee – or having an inside vendor representative hook you up for free makes the experience well worth the visit.  

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This Week in Best of Publib and ALA

Best of Publib Current Topics and PubLib gathering at ALA in Boston, MA.

This Week in  Best of Publib 2010 will return on January 11th – to include topics from December 31st 2009 through January 10th 2010.

In the meantime, Publib list moderator –  Karen Schneider – is looking at scheduling a gathering of PubLib contributors and fans during the American Library Association - Midwinter Meeting.  We will be roaming about the exhibit hall Saturday - January 16th  with cameras and cam in hand. I would love to meet and gather impressions and musings  of librarianship for the January 18th edition of Best of PubLib.

Our sister site - Best of Web4Lib  - is finally launched and will be featuring library web development discussions from that popular listserve beginning January 18th.

We hope to see you at ALA!

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This Week in Best of PubLib 11.23.09

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the weeks of November 8th through November 22nd. This week includes questions about collection development, thought provoking discussions about library photography,  archiving the Grateful Dead, library materials security and damage,  and generational conflicts. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic   »    The end of CD HotList – Rick Anderson in Utah announces the ending of the CD HotList - will he create a new directory?
  • Topic   »    What is the Source of a Nativity story from Joseph’s point of view from Toby Greenwalkt in Skokie, IL – Answer The Handmaid and the Carpenter by E. Berg
  • Topic   »    When customers are ill – Alison Moss in Lafayette, IN is looking for policies – Diedre Conkling references LibraryLaw
  • Topic   »    Fun Games for little ones - Pam Karr in Redlands, CA wants your suggestions – Louis Alcorn recommends Tumblebooks
  • Topic   »    100th anniversary suggestions – Rita Squires in Dalles, OR wants to know how others celebrate
  • Topic   »    Generational conflict and retiring librarians – Hillary Theyer in Torrance, CA wants resources
  • Topic   »    Posting/identifying photos – Roger Carswell  in Iola, KS wants to know policies for posting photos – what is the law?
  • Topic   »    Legit site? – Cynthia Dieden wants to know some credentials – Trustee Fred Beisser evaluates
  • Topic   »    Children’s registrations/multiple cards – Andrew Poplawski in Dartmouth, N.S.  is looking at policies
  • Topic   »    Archiving the Grateful Dead - Judy Anderson spots a hot dead head library job 
  • Topic   »    Teachers selling lesson plans – Sharon Foster wants to know if librarians are next.
  • Topic   »    Locking book drops  - Helen Rigdon wants to know if you are locking them for the holidays – are your materials secure?
  • Topic   »    What would you tell a student? – Christie Brandau is teaching a MLIS course and wants your nuggets of  library wisdom – Grace DeCandido offers her suggestions
  • Topic   »    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? – Lorie J. O’Donnell in Rome, NY is having a book discussion and wants to know what you would ask.
  • Topic   »    Good resources for magazine/journal indexes – Andrea Lhotka in Sedona notes the lack of database support for indexing old magazines – what resources are out there – WorldCat ?
  • Topic   »    Patron requests limits – Lynne Mildestein in Bend, OR wants to know if you are limiting active holds – can there be too many holds?
  • Topic   »    A/V in bookdrop - Mary Soucie in Illinois want to know policies – How do you limit damage?
  • Topic   »    ESL Website – Amber Sroka is putting together an ESL website and would like to see other examples

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This Week in Best of PubLib 11.08.09

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the week of November 2nd through November 8th. This week includes questions about collection management,  discussions about language learning systems , library crime,  and the do’s and don’ts of library work. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic   »    Major news regarding Highwood (IL) PL  – Karen Turk brings us news of library board members being dismissed – Does this create a new precedent?
  • Topic   »    CDs – Cataloging and displaying – Donald Crews in Union, Kentucky wants to know how you organize your CD collections -
  • Topic   »    Help finding a website on library legal issues – Elizabeth Fraser wants to locate a website for library legalities – Diedre Conkling recommends LibraryLaw
  • Topic   »    V-ness – In a twist of the discussion on the Oak Brook incident – M. McGrorty in Los Angeles tries to define the nature of vileness – Does gender weigh heavily or is vileness a universal condition?
  • Topic   »    Waiver of Responsibility for Displayed Art – Sue Violino in Norwalk, CT is looking for examples of art display waivers – Is public art a public risk?
  • Topic   »    A Spoooky Tale of Shameless Self Promotion -  David Wright the Seattle Public Library is telling stories on NPR – Listen !
  • Topic   »    Social networking policies – PubLib moderator Karen Schneider is looking for examples – How do you control in-house 2.o use?
  • Topic   »    50 things [library staff] should never do – Tom Cooper in Webster Groves, Missouri is creating a list – Are there more do’s than don’ts?
  • Topic   »    Language Learning Systems – Natalie Morgan wants to know what you are using – Byki , Mango , PowerSpeak and Tell Me More  get recommended.
  • Topic   »    library robberies – The 50 things discussion diverged into library crime – what will they steal next?
  • Topic   »    MA Library in trouble – Melissa Mannon gave us the news that the Massachusetts State Library is under the gun – what is the governor thinking?
  • Topic   »    Library Jobs – There is a new tool available – maybe it can help you!
  • Topic   »    Helping Friends – Marita Squires in Oregon wants to know your policies for staff helping Library Friends - When is helping friends hurting staff?
  • Topic   »    Trackball Abductions – are trackballs being abused or is this a false memory? – PubLib members want to know!

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This Week in Best of PubLib 10.25.09

Best of Publib Current Topics and Archives

This week  in  Best of Publib covers the week of October 19th through October 25th. This week includes discussions about collection development, thought provoking discussions about Blue-ray vs DVD and overdue fines , unanswerable questions,  and irksome library phrases. Some of the topics we will be reviewing include:weekly update

  • Topic   » All Star Line-Up for PLA 2010 – Kathleen Hughes reports on the authors coming to Portland, OR  in March 2010.
  • Topic   » Jane Austen read alike - Director Mamie Ney in Maine wants your recommendations for her book group.
  • Topic   »  Non-resident use - Steve Benson and others continue the discussion on Charging for Internet Access – what is your philosophy?
  • Topic   » Uses for catalog cards - Pat Kaufman in New York asks how you use catalog cards – Are you displaying them artistically?
  • Topic   » Internet home pages –  Melissa Davidson wants to know your homepage – is your library homepage a local portal?
  • Topic   »  Shelving test – How do you test shelvers’ knowledge of classification systems - software? – algorithms? - Sue Kamm and others came up with some simple solutions. 
  • Topic   »  H1N1 Plans – Elizabeth Fraser in West Virginia is planning for the worst – What system do you have in place for a large outbreak?
  • Topic   »  Blue-ray vs. DVD – Marla in Montana wants to know collection development guidelines for Blue-ray and standard DVD – Who collects what and why?
  • Topic   » Pros and cons of charging overdue fines – Do you charge fines?  If you don’t – why not?
  • Topic   » Unanswerable questions – Catherine Wiggins in Myrtle Beach, SC is putting together  a list of unanswerable questions - How many are there?
  • Topic   » Library Journal released Placements & Salaries Survey 2009 - What are the new career trends for the recession?
  • Topic   » Career databases – Ashely Biggs in LA is looking for career databases to serve the needs of high school students – Who has the best articles?
  • Topic   » Point of order – Michael McGorty wants to know what is off topic for PubLib – Are intellectual discussions affecting collection development allowed?
  • Topic   » Friday rant – Joe Schallan would like to know what library words/phrases should be retired – What phrase irks you the most?

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