I had just enough time to log on and clear out the email inbox before the first team of vendor reps arrived to demonstrate their discovery service, and then it was off to the auditorium where I would spend most of the rest of the day.
These presentations are the latest iteration of our years long internal debate over whether or not the current crop of “web-scale discovery services” can fulfill an unmet need for our students (and faculty). We’ve considered several in the past, but could not get sufficient buy-in from the research & instruction librarians to request the funds to pay for them. After a cooling period, and many discussions with key individuals, we sent out an RFI to some targeted companies, and now we’re providing the opportunity for them to give live demonstrations/pitches.
It’s an unusually warm day here in Richmond, and the library’s HVAC — like most large buildings with sections of various ages and walls that didn’t exist when the building was originally designed — isn’t keeping up with the change. So, after a much-needed lunch break, I came back to the warm auditorium for rounds two and three.
I wish I could share my thoughts about the day’s presentations, but I can’t. Ultimately, there were many examples of things done well and things done not so well, both in the products and in the presentations. We know where the bar has been set, so now it’s a matter of matching our expectations to what can be delivered. There is one more presentation to go, and these have been quite valuable for clarifying what is important to us in a discovery service.
After one last pass through the email inbox, bumping most action items to tomorrow, library day in the life round eight day three has ended.
9. Meeting a bunch of people I have admired from afar for many years but have never had a chance to talk to in person.
8. Having too many concurrent sessions to choose from.
7. According to the folks who attended the Pecha Kucha, it was an informative and entertaining presentation. I can avow the entertaining bit — at times the laughter and clapping coming from the other side of the divider overwhelmed the session I was attending. I will choose that session next time.
6. Thinking about gaming and libraries in a new way, and pondering how libraries can take ideas from gaming to make our resources more intuitive and rewarding for our users.
Perhaps it is because my first real experience with a PowerPont presentation was in my MLS program under the capable hands of Dr. Jeng. Or perhaps it was because I have only been subject to a few PowerPoint presentations that were meant to cover the presenter’s lack of content, but only succeeded in amplifying their lack of presentation ability. In any case, this PowerPoint presentation exemplifies why using technology for teaching purposes should never replace a good lesson plan.