Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 10, 2009 - 9:52pm
Annual kicked off today, and at one of Chicago's swankier hotels I took part in a distinctly non-swanky event: Open Gaming Night. In an elegant ballroom at the downtown Hilton, a group of professionals from around the country gathered to kick back, socialize and have some fun. Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on July 2, 2009 - 8:54am
Annual is just around the corner. Our bloggers discuss what they're most looking forward to this year in the Windy City: Read More »
Submitted by Cindi Trainor on May 8, 2009 - 10:03am
…applying what I learned at Computers in Libraries 2009
Have you ever cleaned papers off your desk, only to find lurking at the very bottom that list of nifty ideas from that awesome conference you attended months ago? It's easy enough to report what was seen and heard at a conference; it’s more difficult to apply that knowledge and demonstrate its application. Life and work inertia typically get in the way, even at institutions that welcome new ideas. The Computers in Libraries 2009 conference was a month ago. Have I applied what I learned there? The answer, not surprisingly, is “yes and no.” Here is a brief summary of the takeaways from my favorite session at this year’s CIL—and what I have (or haven’t!) done with them. Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on March 24, 2009 - 12:17pm
Hot on the heels of Cindi's outstanding coverage of the Darien Library's Drupal Unconference, I had the chance to attend a smaller, in-person Drupal event of my own.The event, hosted by librarian and all-around Drupal enthusiast Leo Klein, included over twenty participants and took place in an instruction room in the library at DePaul University's downtown campus right here in Chicago.
True to form, the event was informal, open and was a great forum for discussion. While attending, I couldn't help but think of Cindi's description of Darien's Drupal Camp as an incredibly "human" conference, and how the same applied at this event. As participants introduced themselves, not one person described themselves as an "expert" on Drupal. The majority of attendees had never actively used Drupal, and were there because they were curious about what it might be able to do for them. People wanted help--they wanted discussion, and they wanted others to know what they didn't know as much as what they did. Read More »
Submitted by Cindi Trainor on March 9, 2009 - 10:53am
Drupal is hard. It has its own vocabulary. Its potential is so wide open that it is literally possible to do nearly anything with it, and while this idea is greatly liberating, it is also sort of paralyzing: Where do I start? What modules do I need? What can I DO with this thing?
But the way I see it, the fact that Drupal has a steep learning curve is no excuse. There's no question that Drupal has a steep learning curve, or that it can be messy and complex to implement, but its potential is too great for libraries to ignore. There is also no question that we can do it.
Read more about this unconference and how to get started with Drupal in your library. Read More »
Submitted by Michael Stephens on February 4, 2009 - 10:03am
I really enjoyed ALA Midwinter. Touching down in 70 degree weather on Wednesday was a treat and participating in various activities with colleagues and folks who I admire is a great way to spend a few days in the Mile High City.
Last summer, I wrote about the use of Twitter at Annual. This time around everything seemed even more connected and accessible. I'm very impressed with what the LITA folks did with Top Tech trends. I made connections, followed meetings and got to chime in on various issues via my Mac and my iPhone.Other folks participated from afar. Read More »
Submitted by Cindi Trainor on February 2, 2009 - 11:12am
My original intention was to write about LITA's Top Technology Trends Round Table at the recent ALA Midwinter meeting in Denver and our (I'm on the committee) integration of technologies intended to make the session available to remote viewers and engage our in-person audience, then I went to the LITA Town Hall meeting and sat at a table of the most amazing people who, working together, set up many different ways to share the content of the meeting with those not in the room as well as integrate comments from those watching from afar.
The TopTech Round Table has been written up very well by Library Journal bloggers Josh Hadro (Part 1 and Part 2) and Roy Tennant (also a TopTech Trendster) and at the AL inside scoop; I won't recap here. During the weeks leading up to the conference, several TTT committee members tested the live blogging freely available from coveritlive, its twitter integration, media uploading, simple reader polls, and comment moderation. The session's hashtag, #ttt09 was also aggregated into the LITA & BIGWIG Friendfeed room. We were nothing if not prepared. The final stroke of luck was the unwavering wireless connectivity in the room; without it, there is no way that we would have been able to upload photos and stream live video of the session.
Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on January 28, 2009 - 10:50am
Unlike Tom, I actually attended the 2009 ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver. I spent most of the weekend on the exhibition floor, chatting with librarians and vendors from around the country. Attendees were, as always, curious and happy to chat, discuss products and talk about their libraries.
Still, in talking with other vendors on the floor, a common theme emerged--librarians are always interested in the newest products and technology, but in 2009, most of them simply don't have the funding for updates. Read More »
Submitted by Tom Peters on January 27, 2009 - 11:21am
An amazing thing happened to me last Saturday--I attended a few events at the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver from the comfort of my own home here in western Missouri. How is that possible, you ask? The last time I checked, there is a small landform called The Great Plains between my home and Denver. Several of the Midwinter events were offered simultaneously on ALA Island and other venues in Second Life. The meeting that really got me revved up about the possibilities for "combo conference events" (that is, events that occur simultaneously in two or more venues or "realities") was the meeting of the ALA VCL MIG (Virtual Communities and Libraries, Member Initiative Group) late Saturday afternoon. Full disclosure: I'm one of the "Designated Organizers" of the VCL MIG.
Here's what happened: Read More »
Submitted by Daniel A. Freeman on January 20, 2009 - 10:55am
For anyone who needs help finding there way around the upcoming conference, Jason has posted this map over at LITA.