June 29, 2009

Random Linkdump

Aaaand now that I've caught up on SLA postings and the book interview announcement, it's time to share a few other tidbits from the last week:

* Get your geek on at Geek the Library! (thanks to Libraryman)

* "The Librarian 3: Quest for the Judas Chalice" wins the Saturn award, given by the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, for "the best presentation on TV". Heh.

* OK, wait, what? School librarians reassigned into teaching positions in Bellevue, WA? I don't know about you, but I'm sure not qualified to teach. (My reference class teacher from grad school would back that up 100%.)

* Just in case I haven't already mentioned it (and if I have, well, I really like it so I'm going to mention it again) : Girl Genius. Go. Read now. I'll wait!

Longshots Podcast Now Up!

I'm pleased to announce that my book interview with Sarah Long for her LongShots podcast is now available! We talked about - yes, it's true - the image of librarians, why you should care, and what we can all do to help continue to update that image. It was a great interview and I was really pleased to have the opportunity!

SLA 2009: Day Five

Wednesday, Day 5, came grey and gloomy...

SLA IT Board MeetingThe morning kicked off with the second IT Board Meeting and plenty of bacon. (These things are important!) This one was about a third as long as the first one; we just needed to finish working through the agenda for the year. A division this large has a lot going on! Astronomy Roundtable I then had to immediately gallop off for the Astronomy Roundtable, which ended up being standing room only - always well attended, Jane did a great job this year of keeping the conversation flowing and on-topic. (It's always neat to hear what ADS has up its sleeve, as it's a resource I use quite often.)

Closing Keynote That was pretty much the last formal session of the conference for me; the closing reception of the Info-Expo hall was next (including my second book signing, which went as well as the first one - yay!), followed by the Closing Keynote. This year it was a panel discussion again, moderated by Judy Woodruff and consisting of Neil deGrasse Tyson (astrophysicist and director of the Hayden Planetarium), Robyn Meredith (Forbes magazine), and John Patrick (Internet visionary, formerly with IBM). It was pretty cool - I always love to hear Tyson speak, his passion is just wonderful - and hearing all three discuss the global information changes that are coming from such different popints of view was really interesting.

After helping to fling beads at the Closing Reception on behalf of the 2010 conference committee, I enjoyed a beignet or two and then ran away to do some touristy bits at the Library of Congress. I'm going to close my SLA postings with this shot of a wall mosaic from the LoC, as it really says it all as far as I'm concerned:

Knowledge is Power


SLA 2009: Day Four

(I swear I'm going to get these finished today, dang it. I have other stuff stacking up behind them!)

Day Four, Tuesday, was going to be the longest day on the schedule - from the 7am start of the PAM Business Meeting through the IT/PAM/LMD Dance Party that night. Oof!

Dana Roth, Achievement Award WinnerDr. Helmut Abt, Division Award WinnerThe big items at the PAM Business Meeting were the Award winners. Dana Roth was given the Achievement Award for the multiplicity of his work relating to scientific literature; Dr. Helmut Abt was given the Division Award for his work in citation analysis; and Thomas Heverin, Michael Peper, Kara Young, and Yun Zhang were the IoP Publishing Travel Stipend Award winners. Congratulations to them all!

Then it was off to moderate the "History of PAM" session, which was well-attended and chock full of good memories of division folks and events. A write-up will appear in the PAM Bulletin later this year, and the Division History section of the website will also be updated.

Lunch was spent at the IT Business Meeting, where hearty congratulations were bestowed on Stephanie Buck, winner of the 2009 Joe Ann Clifton Student Award for her paper on emerging technologies, and the North Carolina Chapter was awarded the Outstanding Chapter Technology Programming Award. A rather nifty Flash movie of the history of the division was also shared.

Leslie Was RightLater in the afternoon found me at the Matchbox DC Bistro for the Tech Support Roundtable... a session that many RSVPd but few actually appeared. *sigh* But for the two folks who did show up, it was a lively and informative session, where we talked about Vista, cloud computing, and the kinds of things that are really required from technical librarians these days. Oh, yeah, and the food was awesome...

What really bummed me out about today was the arrival of a wicked migraine about halfway through the session, and I had to bail on the Embassy Ball Dance Party. I'm still searching for photos or posts about it... I can only imagine the attendees are still recovering!

June 24, 2009

SLA 2009: Day Three

Book Signing by jahw So, after completely discombobulating my brain with the fact that yes, Day Three is, in fact, Monday, I was able to shake it up and get going. Kicked off the day with an informal meeting of the Innovations in Technology committee - 2/3 of us, at least - but it was great to meet James in person. And then, it was the non-conflict Info-Expo Lunch Reception and (drum roll please) my first book signing! It went well, I think - the time certainly flew by! (Thanks again to Jill for the great photo!)

PAMwide Roundtable The afternoon was spent at the PAMwide Roundtable. The moderator, Joe, had a great idea this year; in addition to the usual round-the-room introduction, you were supposed to share a hobby, and something you were hoping to get out of SLA this year. Thankfully, he set aside the first hour for this, as it was a packed room! Then an experiment in social networking using Twitter was tried (with middling success), and a presentation of the International Membership Award winner's talk was given. (Sadly, the IMA winner, Ms. Adefunke Olanike Alabi, was unable to attend this year due to visa problems.) It was interesting and sobering to hear about the state of scientific librarianship in Nigeria, and I only wish Ms. Alabi had been able to deliver her talk in person.

US Naval ObservatoryThe evening was given over to the US Naval Observatory - and what an evening! After a brief but lively discussion about the tour bus scheduling, a group of us were off for the PAM Book Group discussion, held in one of the conference rooms at the USNO. We read and discussed "Death by Black Hole and Other Cosmic Quandaries" by Neil deGrasse Tyson; the discussion was lively and included comments on the readability of the book, how some folks had known the author while he was a postdoc, and a great back-and-forth about science and religion. (Really, it was pretty spiffy.) Thank You, USNO! By the end of our discussion, the other group of folks had arrived from the conference center for the USNO Tour, pulled together by Sally (who we cannot say enough good things about). After two hours of amazing thing piled on amazing thing, a full busload headed back to the convention center. Some folks went on to a reception at the Spy Museum, others headed to the IT Division's Sci-Fi night, but me? I went back to my hotel and crashed again!

June 22, 2009

SLA 2009: Days One and Two

I think this may be the first conference since I started blogging where I didn't live-blog it (or at least same-day blog it). It was both liberating and guilt-inducing (yes, those can happen simultaneously!). So here's the first of the post-conference catchups!

IT Board Dinner 1Day One: Saturday. The two events Saturday were, of course, at the same time, sigh. I missed the PAM Division Early Bird Dinner and walking tour (which I hear were both great) in order to attend the first IT Division Board Meeting. It was, shall we say, illuminating... plus the hotel had put out purple pens! After the chock-full-o-stuff board meeting we all headed off to the restaurant PS7 for a lovely dinner (I had the tuna au poivre, yum) and great conversation.

It's My Book! Day Two: Sunday. The work day kicked off with the PAM Newcomer's Lunch, where the division board welcomed new members who were attending their first conference. Unfortunately, we were all having so much fun eating & getting to know each other that we forgot to take photos (sigh). This was immediately followed by the PAM Board Meeting, always lively, and then the grand opening of the Info-Expo hall. Upon browsing the hall I was pleasantly surprised to come across a poster of my book prominently displayed at the ITI booth!

Gen. Colin Powell Sunday also included the opening keynote, by General Colin Powell. I know some find his reputation to be questionable, but I have a lot of respect for this man and what he went through, and I found his speech to be witty and charming. His comments about social networking and his grandkids just made me chuckle, and his story about his first airline experience after being Secretary of State was a hoot!

The closing event for the day was the AIP-sponsored PAM Open House. It's always a blast to see everyone and be able to do some serious networking over delicious food and drink. (Check out AIP's photos of the event over on Flickr!) I had planned on then heading over to the IT Division's Mystery Night, but I just crashed and had to head back to the hotel for the night.

Weather report for the weekend: ICK. How do people live in that humidity all the time?!? (The temperatures were lovely and mild but I felt like I was breathing through a hot wet washcloth all weekend long. Bleah.)

June 15, 2009

It's that Special Time Again

I am currently being inundated with all kinds of information and events at the 2009 Annual Special Libraries Association Meeting in Washington, DC. It's been a blast so far and I hope to have time soon to actually blog & photo-share about the events! Highlights for me so far have included Gen. Powell's keynote speech, the PAM Open House, and the US Naval Observatory tour. Tomorrow is the History of PAM session, which I'm looking forward to moderating for PAM, and the Technical Support Roundtable, ditto for IT. And then the party of all parties, the IT/PAM/LMD Dance Party - oof!