Midwinter, Day Three: Elvis Has Left the Building

Posted On Jan 22 2007 by

I don’t think I can recall ever walking the vendor floor and not running into Elvis. Many people know that he has been a regular fixture at the Checkpoint booth at ALA conferences for several years. But this year, no Elvis. Random Elvis Impersonators As it turns out, this year, no Checkpoint Systems. I’m not going to add to any wild speculation on this. Midwinter can sometimes be a lower-traffic expense for a vendor who might just decide not to attend. But you can’t just surprise people who come to Exhibits expecting Elvis and not invite a little conjecture. It is …


Midwinter, Day Two: From the Hilltops

Posted On Jan 21 2007 by

I didn’t get around too much on day two, but the day was long, nevertheless. There were, however, a couple of observations I wanted to make. Interfaces a la Google It wouldn’t be an ALA Midwinter if I didn’t take a moment to register my usual skepticism of Google. I went to their tips and tricks session, which was a nice overview for people not familiar with Google Coop, custom search, and Google’s librarian-like advanced search features. More information is available at the Google Librarian Center. But I am still struck by the lack of information forthcoming when librarians ask …


Midwinter, Day One: Uphill

Posted On Jan 20 2007 by

I don’t remember the hills in Seattle being so steep. I’m still on East Coast time and sitting in the bar of the Renaissance Madison Hotel on a dying battery, trying to summarize today’s events. (No, I’m not sitting in a bar at breakfast time Saturday, when this entry posted to the blog!) The bulk of the day was spent at RMG’s annual “ILS vendor” panel. I know, you’re thinking, “How many of them are left?” Truth be told, the panel in its 18th year is made up primarily of nontraditional system vendors, though they are still well represented. This …


Gearing Up

Posted On Jan 10 2007 by

Seattle will be my 6th ALA conference as an American Libraries columnist, and my 2nd since the summer 2006 launch of Hectic Pace. It’s part of my duty to cover the exhibit floor for the magazine, and here I will admit it for the first time–it is my favorite part of the job. There’s something one cannot get from press releases, phone calls, e-mails, and webinars. This is not to say that one can get a whole lot more from a scripted demo by someone who has worked for a company for 2 weeks, but there’s something about walking the …


Size Matters

Posted On Jun 27 2006 by

It’s hard for me to truly believe (sometimes) that Google thinks of libraries and librarians as anything other than quaint. Bringing this feeling home to me was the size of Google’s ostentatiously humongous booth at the 2006 ALA Annual conference in New Orleans (thanks, Roy, for the photo!). Maybe they thought we were in Texas again. Don’t get me wrong, I love, envy, resent, fear, and try to emulate Google as much as the next guy (or gal), but there’s just something about that ALA booth that says “if we really had our way, we’d have the whole floor.” Maybe …