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Sultry Sunday: ALA Annual Las Vegas

30 Jun

Stamina can be an issue for ALA conferences not only due to the vast cavernous conference centers and treks to off-site meetings but also the all-day stream of back-to-back sessions and exhibit hall events, booths, and demos. There’s always something to do from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the least, with a few 6/7 a.m. meetings if you’re one of those lucky ones. Then some meetings occur anywhere from 5 to 9 p.m., not to mention the evening social events. In addition, there’s always something that you’ll miss–trades offs need to be made since many sessions are at the same time block. Co-workers, classmates, or library spouses can help tag team topics and sessions, but even then there’s something cool going on too that you will want to be at.

So how do you tackle ALA? This is still a mystery. Up until today, I was doing well at pacing myself but here I am at a 3 to 4 p.m. session that’s about to start, and it’s my ___ today. Yup, I’m feeling it. This is my last today…I swear. There was just so much to learn and hear about that pacing went out the window. But Sunday is always the most packed day, it seems. Good thing that Vegas is a city that sleeps early and doesn’t have a vibrant nightlife. Riiiiight. I’m actually loving Vegas more than I thought I would and have adjusted to the weather–evenings by the rooftop pool are amazing. But enough about that, let’s get on with my full day of awesome sessions…once this presentation ends.

Today began with the 8:30 a.m. Digital Preservation IG on which the presenters discussed their libraries’ current practices or plan for preserving digital content, especially research data. Part of the conversation grappled with how other campus stakeholders including IT fit into the equation.

The Continuing Resource Standards IG was a NISO update, with the focus on linking to journal content with OpenURLs. The speakers spoke about IOTA and KBART. Also, there are recent best practice recommendations and white paper available on NISO.org

Over the lunch hour at the ALA Job Placement Center, Open Cover Letters Revealed had a panel of four recently hired librarians providing advice and the inside scoop on the hiring process and search committees. Check out the event hash tag #alaocl on Twitter.

The CAMMS Forum’s large room filled up and many, including myself, pulled up a seat on the floor in order to hear about linked data, BibFrame, and the semantic web. Presentations varied from conceptual to practical. The Library of Congress’ MARC to BibFrame online convertor was live demoed successfully and excited the room.

My day rounded out with the Collection Development and Electronic Resources IG that discussed usage statistics, both why they are useful and how to obtain them. Although not all statistics, tools, and reports are equal, so there is no one right way or answer.

Good thing Monday is lighter on sessions!

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