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29 Jan 2009 / Julie

this librarian life: day zero, one, two, & three (or my trip to ALA Denver)

It’s time for round two of the Librarian Day In The Life community blog series and it occurs to me that i barely started round one.

Since this round of LDITL is partly over ALA MidWinter, i’m extending my week to accommodate writing about it all. :-)

day zero: Saturday, January 24th
Day One of ALAMW09 in Denver gets an early start at the RUSA RSS All Committee meeting for the Collaborative Reference Services Committee which is part of RSS. My official involvement in this group is as the liaison between this and the VR committee which is a joint committee between MARS and RSS.

We had a very productive meeting discussing the survey we did to access people’s knowledge and use of the RUSA Collab Ref guidelines, or their own or others as well as wordsmithing the committee’s charge and getting set up for our next steps regarding the toolkit we want to put together to help aid people’s collaborative reference.

by 10.30 i was in the exhibit area with Caleb, coordinator for LNet, the Oregon Statewide VRS and picked the brains of reps for BrainFuse, Altarama, and most importantly, Text-a-Librarian. I highly recommend checking out TextALibrarian. They’re down-to-earth guys with a great product. I’m still wondering how i can make it functional on as large a scale as I’d need to in Maryland.

Lunch was at BubbaGumps with my friends and colleagues Vince (coordinator of AskHerePA), Beth (coordinator of QandANJ), and Ahniwa (coordinator of Washington‘s VRS). We talked a little shop and had a great lunch including a most delectable warm chocolate chip cookie with ice cream dessert!

After lunch, Ahniwa headed over to the ALA Emerging Leader’s town hall meeting and B, V, and I made our way over to the QuestionPoint Best Practices session to hear Paul Ulrich speak about his multi-language work with the Berlin Library and David Lankes speak about RefEx. Since understanding RefEx to be the building blocks upon which Scapes can/will be built, i am very eager to be highly involved in this project. (See/hear David’s presentation here.)

@4.30 i had a choice of 3 programs at once- “Building Statewide Coalitions,” “Embedded Librarian,” and The Virtual Reference Discussion Group. And since the laws of physics apparently still apply to me, I ended up at Building Statewide Coalitions. Anyone with notes from Embedded Librarian is encouraged to share with me! :-) I’ve already gotten my VRDG notes!

After changing my shoes, I enjoyed a glass of wine and a very speecy-spicy bit of quesadilla at the QuestionPoint Advisory Board Social Hour and then headed over with a bunch of friends/colleagues to crash the Thompson Gale party which was the highlight of the sponsored events. The ThomsonGale party was phenomenal bc they had a true open bar (liquor, not just wine and beer… and i do appreciate a good sprite and malibu or two) and they held it at a restaurant, not just a room as part of the conference. Major kudos for the atmosphere, TG.

As fun as it was, my theory on these parties, while i enjoy the free food and socializing, is that these vendors should take their subscribers $$ and make their product better. I’m pretty sure no one would mind not having elaborate parties if they had a wondrous product to show for their empty budgets.

Post TG party, a bunch of us ended up at Lucky Strike for additional socializing (and sadly no bowling). The last of the stragglers (myself included) capped off the night at Appaloosa.

day one: Sunday, January 25th
Today is the second day of the ALA midwinter meeting in Denver. It’s coold. by 8.15amish i’m at the RUSA MARS all committee meeting to meet with my Virtual Reference Committee peeps. We make a lot of headway on the Index subcommittee and tutorial subcommittee.

From there, it’s lunch and wandering around 16th street with Vince. We end up running into Gina, a former colleague of his in Florida and a new Twitter friend of mine. :-)

At 3pm I meet up in the exhibits to catch up with my mentor and former professor, Marie Radford.

A little before 4 i showed up at the QuestionPoint Users Group meeting that i was co-chairing with Vince of AskHerePA. We have Jeff and Susan do the 24/7 Reference Cooperative member update and the QP software update. We then have everyone at the tables take 5 minutes to write down everything they want the QP software to be able to do. We got a lot of good feedback! Vince and i went through them and categorized them while the tables we’re discussing other topics of interest to them. At the end, we reported out. These notes will be posted on the QP blog soonest.

That night, the coordinators of the statewide VR services had dinner at the Wazee Supper Club and talked shop and non-shop. :-)

From there, some of us “crashed” the Elsevier party and talked more shop and non-shop. Wine, beer, snacks, and desert (yum, lemon bars), dancing and bad music.

Appaloosa was up next with some folks when it occurred to me that in a profession made up of mainly women, i always end up being the only one representing in a group of guys…

day two: Monday, January 26th
A day like this one is RARE for me that i don’t mind telling you it was mostly not work related. The monday of conferences is usually filled with meetings, but somehow we mis-planned and had time on our hands. I spent the day skidding around Denver with Beth, coordinator of QandANJ. I’d mostly like to note that today was 9 degrees. We had breakfast at the Delectable Egg & i ended up buying a painting from a local artist. Then we got some excellent ideas for our new houses at the Tattered Cover and ate a most amazing lunch at the Wyncoop Brewery. That night, we experienced Casa Bonita (or as our bellman called it, “Caka Don’t Eat It”) with our friend Alex of American University.

day three: Tuesday, January 27th
Travel day. Worried about the weather at home since they don’t know how to handle snow and ice as well as i’m used to, being a Jersey girl. Got home by 8pm local time. Passed out asleep almost immediately after getting home.


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