Heading to Portland for PLA?

Library students Turner Masland, Rebecca Chernay, Amy Frazier and Serenity Ibsen have made a delightful video The Visiting Librarian’s Guide to Portland. Donut and coffee suggestions and a lively soundtrack. And remember: Couch Street is pronounced “cooch.” Aaron Schmidt has also written a Walking Guide to Portland that is useful and the PLA Blog has a list of Portland libraries in case you’re like me and like to visit local libraries while you’re out and about.

two posts over at PLABlog

I went to two interesting sessions yesterday which I blogged about for PLA.

Creating a Digital Library on a Shoestring, Laurie Thompson and Sarah Houghton
Right of Center and Still Balanced – Susan Hill

I also went to a WebJunction event where I met some interesting regional librarians from Iowa, and a Library Journal awards dinner at the top of the Prudential celebrating the best small libraries where I met some new-to-Boston librarians from Missouri. It was a fun shindig made even better by the fact that the library who won last year, the Haines Borough Public Library is actually one that I’ve been to, way back when.

see you at PLA?

I’m at PLA for the next few days so updates will be over at the PLAblog, and you can follow along with the photostream at Flickr by looking at the pla2006 tag. You can’t sort by author so I suggest you read the whole thing if you’re interested in what a public library conference looks like. This is my first real post there. Early observations:

  • Free wireless everywhere for everyone, and even a special wireless lounge with couches and outlets. Huh, that looked easy.
  • The Hynes Convention Center is a really good place for a conference.
  • The PLAblog is not just a neat project from the perspective of people who can’t go to the conference, it actually is a great network of folks who are sort of known to be the techie-types who are visible to help with all sorts of things.
  • As always, I’m delighted to be staying with a person (my sister) and not in some wretched hotel. I have yet to stay in a hotel in the US that is at all better than my own room at home, or even most of the guestrooms I stay in. This may be one of those rural vs. urban things, but it sure is true.
  • It’s really nice to get to just write-up things for the blog and not a) be in charge and b) be on my way to a governance meeting. Steven and Andrea are doing an amazing job.
  • Brian Smith (also blogging for PLA) is as funny in person as he is on his site, just don’t call him the “laughing librarian”

this week in libraryland

There is a lot going on this week. I will be participating in some of it so I may not be commenting on the rest of it. Computers in Libraries (wiki) is going on in DC. Blogwithout a library has a good post outlining how to follow along at home. Many people asked me if I was going. I’m not, though I would like to, because I’ll be at PLA in Boston, blogging for PLA. This was an excuse to check out what I’ve heard is a great conference, rendezvous with friends and family, and do a little conference blogging which I haven’t done much of before.

I was going to post this earlier but the entire ALA/PLA set of websites has been up and down for hours. When ALA.org briefly came back up, I noticed a new thing on the ALA website, buttons called “blogs” and “wikis”, right next to the RSS feeds. I don’t know if they have multiple wikis since both links don’t work right now (ALA seems to not have a staging area for their website) and I’m still unclear of the value of having an “official” ALA wiki when the unofficial ones worked so well, but it looks like someone, slowly, is trying to do the right thing and for that I am happy. Update: the ALA Blogs, RSS Feeds, and Wikis page is up. Apparently all three images on the ALA main page link to that page, which I hope will have a short URL soon. I sent them a friendly note suggesting that Firefox be capitalized properly and that they hyperlink the feeds as well as the blog URLs. They claim “New blogs and wikis are being added almost every day!” which I assume is weird marketing speak, but maybe they have big plans for that page which I think would be delightful.

Also new from ALA is their library careers website which helps answer a lot of “How do I become a librarian or library worker?” questions without all the empty hype about the job shortage. It’s nice and easy to navigate and except for the dreadful URL — librarycareers.org redirects to www.ala.org/ala/hrdr/librarycareerssite/. Which URL will people bookmark? The one in their browser window! Why can’t ALA fix this? — and is one more indication that someone there knows how the web works.

See you at PLA?

I will be blogging for PLA as a regular old PLA blogger and hopefully doing some updates here on my own time. Anyone who will be in Boston Tues-Sun [if you live there, or especially if you're just visiting] please look me up. I’m going to the conference in Boston but staying with my sister in Somerville. Unlike most conferences, I’m not overcommitted, so let’s get together.

update: Jenny synthesizes some discussion about conferences & registration fees

Jenny posts a follow-up to her earlier post about organization membership and guest speakers and conference registration fees and the weird relationship between them. A few of us were trying to do some damage control on the Council list where it became clear that people were misunderstanding the issues, either accidentally or because of a radically different worldview than some of the rest of us. I’ve been asking friends of mine in other professional organizations and it’s become clear to me that some organizations have similar policies, many do not, and most people who don’t have just a flat-out “it’s an honor to be invited to speak and you should expect nothing in return.” seem to be surprised that exceptions weren’t made for Michael and Jenny not because of who they are but just because of their extentuating circumstances [not attenting the conference, paying all expenses in Michael's case, etc.] and peoples’ ability to be flexible about things like this. update: Meridith makes a very compelling “librarians should not be martyrs” point with plenty of stats to back up her vision of a more just professional association.