So first thing -- I forgot to mention that yesterday before I ran off to hear about Sirsi/Dynix & sympathy -- errr I mean Symphony -- I heard Sherman Alexie read a selection from his new YA book, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian -- which sounds like it's a great book.
Oh and to all you out there wanting to teach Sherman's books in your classes but find the content a little too objectionable -- Sherman suggests blacking out the naughty bits because it will make it even more dramatic and mysterious to the readers. ;-)
So today I started out searching for a free cup of coffee -- found one next to the internet cafe (which is tucked behind the ALA bookstore). I then went down to the vendor area and tracked down a couple of other sales folks I had missed.
My first session of the day was a usergroup meeting of Counting Opinion customers. Note to all companies selling to libraries --> Online usergroup communications like listservs and or forums are a must. If I'm using a product for the first time or even if I've been with it a couple of years it benefits me to be able to talk with other customers to see how they utilize the product/service you provide. It can only better your product and help with sales. So don't wait just for conferences to get together -- start an online community. Ask a librarian you sell stuff to about 2.0 tech and I bet they can fix you up.
Next I arrived late to the Mobile Outreach session about book mobiles. My library dream has always been to create a mobile wireless computer lab -- to travel around to rural areas or areas with no libraries near by -- and to provide internet access and virtual library services to under-served folks. It was neat to hear other talk about their massive and not so massive book mobile services and what all is really entailed in the process. And the entire time I kept envisioning Barbara Streisand in Yentl visiting the book wagon guy -- yeah I know dorky. But over all an amazing session and it was an ashame more folks weren't there to hear it and participate in the break out session afterwards.
Next I stopped by the Training Showcase: Best practices for continuing library education -- too bad this session wasn't in a larger area because it was packed with people showing off posters and sharing information. It was a great opportunity to meet some folks involved in activities like 5 Weeks to a Social Library and other ventures that get library staff back on their feet educationally. Great chance to network.
I might stop by the Future Friends RUSA presentation next -- but I only have my little program on me and I'm hesitant about going because of the subtitle. "Marketing Reference and User Services to Generation X". Will the concept of "Gen X" being the target demographic please die? Gen X is statistically marginal in the population and is at minimum 27 years old -- unless this is really about catering to the 30-somethings. At least that's my jaded Gen X perspective. :-)
So are you all having fun?