Peter Murray
How NOT to use Powerpoint (YouTube) -
How NOT to use Powerpoint (YouTube)
Yeah -- me too. Gotta know when to break the rules, though. - Peter Murray
This one never gets old: Chicken chicken! - John Dupuis
I LOVE "chicken chicken"! - DJF
Aaron the Librarian
Responding to: "Member survey regarding ALA 2015 Strategic Plan" (
Are you sure this response will be counted? The site says the survey doesn't "start" until the 23rd (although it is available now)... - Peter Murray
I'm very sorry to report that the survey doesn't open until February 23, even though the live link was in the press release. I've submitted a request to keep any data submitted by members before the 23rd, but it's probably best not to take the survey until then. Sorry about the confusion. - Am Library Association
The Politics of Travel - -
I've been wanting to do a blog post for a while about travel, and the value and purpose of faculty traveling. Someday I'll find the time :( This Chronicle article misses the point, by a wide and foul margin IMO. What do you think? - RudĩϐЯaЯïan from Bookmarklet
I tend to feel both guilty and grumpy when traveling these days - the travel itself is not pleasant, the costs are high, and I often look at my notes and think "would a few hours reading articles and being online have accomplished more? And if I read a blog post or a draft of that talk or panel would I have gotten to the point in half the time?" In pre-Internet days traveling to conferences was the only way I got to talk with people doing what I did at other institutions. That's changed. - barbara fister
I've been finding that I keep up with what's current pretty well by my own means, but I still find enormous value in small conferences -- primarily in the face to face conversations. I think this is coming to be known as lobbyconning, and I don;t know if this captures what I mean. When I have a great conference experience, I come back inspired and rejuvenated, and it rarely has to do with sessions, except perhaps as touchstones for later conversation. - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
But those conversations have a positive impact on me and my work. What I struggle with is: is this the intended value of funding conference travel? Inspiration and rejuvenation? Are those results worth the expense? The Chronicle article sees faculty travel as about the bottom line and showcasing research. Is that OldSkool? Is Librarianship a sufficiently different field to warrant very different travel goals? - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
I'm possibly not well socialized enough to get that kind of benefit :o) Though some memorable conference conversations did lead to major turning points for me: a book contract just in time for tenure, for example because of a dinner conversation, but more commonly "touchstones" (good word) where I met someone, had a discussion, headed off in a new direction. Hmm.... though since I'm old as dirt, much of that was pre-Internet, so maybe I've lost the conference touch. Or gone to the wrong ones too often. - barbara fister
They can be a great place to hear about new projects and works in progress, particularly on-going longitudinal studies. In my area, they also tend to be the time when many committees and sigs meet, so that's another reason to attend. - Katy S
I think inspiration and rejuvenation is a valid result. You might be completely up-to-date in the field but if you're worn down/jaded/bored then you're not going to provide as much value to your organisation as if you're excited and raring to go. - Deborah Fitchett
What Deborah F. says. At this point, rejuvenation and inspiration (and socialization) are probably my primary reasons for going to ALA and Midwinter--and key reasons why I'd rather speak at state/provincial/regional library conferences than anywhere else. - walt crawford
Walt -- I am about to start attending ALA meetings after a 3 year hiatus, and I am going to try to take hope from knowing you find rejuvenation and inspiration there! I've been very anxious about all my travel dollars now going there and wondering where I was going to find the stuff that feeds me (I will be less likely to go to LOEX, Computers in Libraries, Brick & Click, Internet Librarian, etc...with a twice a year ALA visit....) - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
The intended value of funded conference travel is to get out the names of folks doing the research/programming who are presenting. While I understand and appreciate the value of simple attendance or lobbyconning, it's not something unis can afford to fund in current econ times. Want to travel? Produce something. (IMO only, not reflective of my employer or even commonsense) - ωαřмaiden ❤Bassetmom❤
Travel can be a double-edged sword. It can be rejuvenating, but I've been finding the same people presenting over and over and over at conferences. To justify to my employer (and myself) the money spent, I need to be bringing back fresh ideas. I can't justify lobbyconning as a good enough reason when money is tight. At MPOW we all share the same pot, including my employees. And it's not a big pot. This year, I'm choosing to go to a local conference and I'm bringing my people along. -
I'd like to see more virtual conferences personally and more use of online/virtual networking. When ALA really starts to fully support those two things, I'll be pleased. Until then, I don't see a great deal of value in large conferences with 10000-20000 + attendees. Given the choice, I'll go the smaller conferences with less noise and more chance to meet a wide range of people. -
Hmm, so far I have been pretty unimpressed with web conferences, content wise (as with many physical sessions). Which is really what got me thinking about how I get useful content. More and more, that's in actual conversation. (although my love for FriendFeed rooms is growing!) - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
Yes, webconferences aren't all you could hope for. Of course, it depends on the presenter. But I like the option because I just can't afford to continue paying my own way. Travel and lodging eats up a huge portion of the conference budget. Fortunately, I'm not on the tenure hamster wheel, so I'm taking a bit of a break this year. I have a feeling library conferences aren't going to be where I focus all my attention in the future. -
This year, I'd really like to do more networking and conferencing within the state. There are loads of ways to meet other librarians and library-related people that doesn't involve expensive travel. Trying to take advantage of those things. The only thing I'm going to ALA for is the exhibit hall. I like talking to vendors in person. -
I use ALA as an example because those are my only funded conferences, and I can't really fund my own conference travel given my "semi-retired" status. It's the people and, to some extent, the exhibits--and I don't in any way consider my status or habits typical. - walt crawford
I'm having a problem justifying not having to take personal or flex time to do the non-PA located conferences which only have "intangibles" as a deliverable. They're work related (if we had money I'd get reimbursed *something*) just to attend. The conference work at a macro level benefits libraries indirectly and my library even more indirectly (and benefits me in my tenure chase, as I'm a busy camper at the ALA things) - "just" attending (not presenting) is usually more beneficial for me, imho. - Aaron the Librarian
When I'm presenting, I'm not engaged in the pre-me sessions and too relaxed/mind-melted after my session to really get much out of the follow-on presentations. When I'm not presenting, I'm engaged and can work on cross-pollinating the ideas from session to session and occasionally come up with a macro view juxtaposition which directly benefits what I do for mpow or myself - Aaron the Librarian
You bring up a good point Aaron. However, I've had absolutely no luck and/or response to my efforts to become involved in ALA, ACRL, RUSA, etc. Which takes away another justification for attending. ALA does a great disservice to its members by ignoring offers of help from people truly interested in helping to further our profession. If I were allowed to be an active member, I wouldn't mind paying some out-of-pocket to attend. Since I'm not allowed, I won't be a member or attend. -
How can we help, Jilly is ? Can we put you in touch with people in those divisions? - Am Library Association
Can only speak for own experience in LITA, where interested newcomers are welcomed. (As VP, many years ago, I always favored committee volunteers who hadn't previously served, and I believe other VPs frequently do the same.) And it's absurdly easy to become active in an Interest Group...but that's just LITA. - walt crawford
Possibly. But I let my membership lapse since I wasn't realizing any value. I'll have to think about it. -
Ah, well, I was only speaking to ease of active participation. As for value...well, ask me when I decide whether to renew next year (I've been a member since before it was called LITA). Different issue. - walt crawford
Well, not to rile folks in the mothership or the two of 'my' divisions you mentioned -- the system and the process gets in the way of the participation, jilibrarian. We just (at Midwinter 09 in Denver) finished (finally after 10 years+ of effort -- from kgs on down to me and others) making non-physical member participation officially allowed and encouraged. ALA is bringing up a Drupal-based site to connect the various units and divisions to make it easier to do work away from conferences and have it count - Aaron the Librarian
I hope that it will simplify things. I'm trying to rid myself of my general disregard for ALA. Overall, it's been a disappointing experience. I think the virtual participation is a step in the right direction. But I do wonder about the slow speed of change in the organization. I guess it's just how it is. -
Uncontrolled Vocabulary
ALA Urges Library Advocates To Lobby Now on Stimulus Bill - 2/9/2009 - Library Journal -
Could use an updated commentary on the current state of the stimulus from the library lit world, if you happen to come across it.
I think the best way to follow this is via our Washington Office's District Dispatch blog ( They're posting as more information becomes available, approximately every other day. - Am Library Association
Thanks. - Greg Schwartz
Jen (SquirrelGirl)
The 2009 ALA award winners are announced -
The 2009 ALA award winners are announced
"We admit it, we're a sucker for the annual American Library Association awards which help us navigate the thousands of virtual bookstore shelves when picking out great reads for our kids. Last week the 2009 ALA winners were announced and we're excited to check out the big winners." - Jen (SquirrelGirl) from Bookmarklet
Kenley Neufeld
It’s Been a Tough Start to the New Year at ALA…. -
Thanks Jenny for recapping the multitude of electronic failure at ALA (I was one of those tweeting on Monday morning). At this point it is positive to hear from the organization and we can hope that all the issues mentioned will actually be addressed in the near future. See you all in Denver. - Kenley Neufeld
Thanks, Kenley. We definitely heard all of you loud and clear, and we'll be posting more about all of this as we sort out all of the pieces. - Am Library Association
Other ways to read this feed:Feed readerFacebook