ala annual, part one — washington, d.c.

Bloggin’ the ALA.

Aaron Dobbs and his chapeauALA Annual is as large and overwhelming as I expected, and still frustratingly too broad or too narrow at times. Either there are five different sessions I want to attend at the same time or there are none. Meh. On the up side, I have started to figure out where I should be within the organization, which turns out to be straddling the line between ALCTS and LITA.

At the ALCTS Serials Section Acquisitions meeting yesterday, I made a suggestion for a program for next year’s conference in Anaheim. The end result was that everyone on the committee liked it and the chair asked me to be the chair of the program. I’m new enough that I don’t know what I’m in for, but I think everyone will help if I get in over my head.

After the meeting I wandered over to the exhibit hall and got a copy of Social Software in Libraries: Building Collaboration, Communication, and Community Online by Meredith Farkas and have her sign it. Very nice to meet her in person.

Later in the afternoon, I skipped out on a session to attend the last few minutes of the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase, which was pretty cool. I’m sorry to have missed the first part. Met a few more blogger types that I’ve only known virtually, and that was nifty. It’s also why I attended the BIGWIG meeting this morning, and how I came to the revelation that I will find my people in LITA.

The coolness continued with the LISnews dinner/social at Capitol City Brewing. Blake Carver and Rochelle Hartman continue to rock my world.

Today was more tech goodness, which included the very interesting and very well attended top tech trends panel presentation. And now, I will close this out and pack up to head over to the Grand Hyatt for the Blog Salon.

music from Ghana

My review of a great album of highlife and Afrobeat music has been published on Blogcritics. It has been a lot of fun to listen to over the past couple of weeks.

Sitting in a chair in front of a computer, the average person will burn about 1.6 calories per hour. However, if highlife music is playing in the background, I expect that number would be much higher. It is impossible to sit still when listening to this music. I find myself constantly tapping a foot, bopping my head, or swaying my torso along with the steady dance beats.

speaking my mind

It has been brought to my attention that some of the content of this blog is more negative than what may be appropriate, given current situations and circumstances. For now, I am leaving the offending posts up, but there may come a time when it will be necessary to remove them. I apologize if anyone was hurt or offended by my criticism, and I am making a conscious effort to be more generous in my appraisal of situations and events.

I’m generally a positive and optimistic person, but I can be judgmental, and I think that gets conveyed in negative ways sometimes. I will still speak my mind on things I feel strongly about, but I will be more conscious of how it may read to others, particularly since I’m becoming less of a library grunt with a blog and more of a professional leader.

A girl’s gotta grow up sometime, I guess.

Poirot on film

The mysteries are pure intellectual candy and satisfy that particular craving.

by Acorn Media

My review of Poirot Classic Collection 2 has been published over at Blogcritics. I really enjoyed this collection, but then again, it is Poirot, so I expected to. I’m not going to post the pre-pub versions of my reviews here, like I have been, so here’s just an excerpt to entice you to go read the full review if you want to:

The films themselves are the meat of the product, and they are just as good as one expects them to be. Poirot remains the central character throughout, and is frequently joined by his regular film companions Captain Hastings, Chief Inspector Japp, and Miss Lemon. These three characters, while present in the books, are not as prominent as they are portrayed on film. However, this serves the series well by providing the tools for character development via the relationship that Poirot has with each.

since when did this become a column?

To all columnists out there: don’t worry — your information dissemination medium isn’t going away because of blogs.

I started to respond to Michelle’s post in her comments section, but then it got too long to be a comment, so I’m posting it here.

I attended a session at NASIG entitled “Column People: What’s their Future in a World of Blogs? The Role of Columnists in Academic Journals.” I erroneously thought it might be an interesting discussion of blogs in scholarly communication, but it turned out to be a “bloggers are hurting our profession!” diatribe. A poorly organized and presented one, at that.

At one point, the presenter pulled a quote out of a blog that seemed to lean more on the cat-blog side of blogging. Although I didn’t recognize the source, I thought it was a rather weak point in an already weak presentation. Not only that, but upon reading the full context, the blog post seems to be more substantial than the presenter would have us believe.

The conversation would have been better served if he had focused on the positive aspects of blogs and the relationship they have to columns. Some of the unwashed actually have pretty good self-editing skills, in addition to having useful things to say.

In the Q&A part of the session, I posed the question of “why worry?” — blogs and columns can continue to co-exist, and as per usual, readers will be drawn to what interests them. Bashing blogs and bloggers will not result in more edited columns in academic journals. They’re serving different purposes and users. It’d be like saying that we should stop using toothpaste because shampoo is an effective personal hygiene tool.

I also noted that the blog medium is just a tool, and it can lend itself to peer and editorial review. For example, I can write whatever I want here, but if it’s crap, at least one of my peers will correct me. There are also collaborative blogs that have evolved to become online magazines with editorial staff, such as Blogcritics.

To all columnists out there: don’t worry — your information dissemination medium isn’t going away because of blogs.

michael gorman needs a hug

I can hear the clattering of keys as bloggers and other Web/Library 2.0 fans gear up for Gormangate Round 2, but aside from this little note, I intend to refrain from joining. Frankly, after skimming through Gorman’s latest pronouncement (no link love from me, sorry), I have to wonder if he’s just itching for some attention now that he’s had about a year off from being in the public eye as ALA President? Someone send him a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People, please.

source: snarkivist's icons on LiveJournal

you love me! you really love me!

Holy cow! FeedBurner tells me that there are over a thousand of you reading this blog. Don’t you people have something better to do? (I kid! I kid!) In any case, I don’t believe the numbers. Over half of them are coming from PageFlakes alone.

But, if you are actually reading this blog, why not jump on the Frappr bandwagon with me and let me know?

time zone love

One of the good things about being on the West Coast is that all my colleagues east of me are anywhere from an hour to three hours ahead of me. This means that starting around 2 or 3pm, the incoming email slows down to a trickle and by 4pm is almost completely stopped. One of the bad things is that they have a several hour head-start on me in the morning, compounded with my inability to get into the office before 8:30am on a good day (9 or 10am on bad days).