Category Archives: ACRL

The Place Where the Wild Things Are

The Wild Things arrived en masse, today – Friday is officially the day for ALA Annual Preconferences, but more and more meetings are seeping in to the schedule.

Currently I’m maintaining my 4sq Mayorality (of #ala12 as well as my hotel) — now you know what’s *really* important, right?

This morning was LITA Board I (which we streamed) where we handled some administrivia and held a strategy session which resulted in a new, improved Vision statement and an early draft of a new Mission statement.

Halfway through LITA Board, I noticed Jason Griffey was wearing a red ribbon with my name in gold on it. When I asked, he claimed that it was in his registration packet when he picked up his badge. While I disbelieved, I was also more than half-convinced…

Lunch was split with the OCLC Americas Regional Council and Member Meeting update and an invited strategy session with Maureen Sullivan’s incoming ALA Committee Chairs. The strategy session was energizing and motivating (for all of the attendees, imho) and I got good notes for that one! (which I’ll post at some point)

While wandering the halls, seeking conversation, I ran into several more folks with me on their ribbon trail — I got several different stories about how they got theirs… ranging from “I found it on the ground (or “on a table”), figured I know you, and stuck it on my ribbon trail” (which is totally believable… no really… #snark), to “in my registration packet,” to “the person I got it from swore me to secrecy and made me promise to tell you that you can’t have one.” I appreciate this last one (as it *is* totally believable).

Then I hit the Emerging Leaders Poster Session and was again struck by the total awesomesauce on display. If these folks are the future leaders of ALA, we are in a really good place as an association. While here, I met even more people wearing “Aaron Dobbs” ribbons (all of whom would NOT tell me the real story) and began to get freaked out about this ribbon thing…

Next up, I hit the Exhibits Opening Reception and made it about halfway through my “list of vendors to harass” before they shut the lights off and sent us packing.

Then #ALAPlay where a bunchof fun people play a crapton of games – board games (such as Hamster Roll), card games (FLUXX!), and a “just built last night” game (tentatively called “Joust”) with hacked Wii controllers where the players try to keep their light lit while causing others to shake their controller and kill their lights… it was pretty neat.

Then more talking, solving the problems of libraryland over beverages, now this post, and soon to bed… “for a functional #ala12 Saturday”

ALA Connect – now in gamma

Word is getting out about ALA Connect which will officially launch April 6th.  Connect is in soft-launch (or gamma) right now, so if you’ve been wanting to take a peek…

Connect is for ALA collaborative work and library-land professional networking. If you’re an ALA member, you can log in with your ALA website username & password – your Connect experience will be tailored to your ALA memberships, you’ll already be subscribed to the discussion pages for the units of which you are a member and you’ll be able to join other existing groups or create your own.  If you’re not an ALA member, you can  register on the site to participate, but you’ll need to be an ALA member to access the full functionality.

ALA Units and New Members Resources

Still scrolling through the ACRL Conference Blog, finding more gems.

ACRL peeps Merinda Hensley & Annie Paprocki have started a discussion forum in the ALA Online Communities for anyone to join. The discussion forum is based in ACRL’s section of the Communities. I posted a message to the NMRT email list, which reads semi-indignantly to my shame, making folks aware of the resource and wondering if NMRT has a similar resource or has one in the works.

Steps to follow to join the ACRL New Member Online Community can be found on the NEW: New Member Online Community post on the ACRL Conference Blog.

Tagging in the library catalog

So I was persuing the ACRL Conference Blog & saw several posts about PennTags. Intrigued (again), I Googled up more about PennTags and caught some of the discussions about how some people think PennTags ignored the existence of and other social bookmarking sites. Which made me think, “hm… could I add a way for my users to socially tag records directly from our catalog?” Turns out I can, with a few wrinkles still needing ironing out, and have thrown a beta “Tag with” link into our ExLibris / Endeavor Voyager Catalog (see example, the link is at the bottom of the record)

The cool part of PennTags, which my little hack doesn’t do, is the FRBRized tally of tags per catalog item. I would love to figure out how to show a tag cloud of potential future tags, too. I would love to add a pre-populated tag entry to better discover tagged items from our catalog, but I do not see a way to turn on the autocomplete function for the “tags” entry in

Library Angst

While I was scrolling through ACRLblog’s Official Correspondent Site of the 13th Annual National Conference, I read the “anxious much?” and “Do you have anxeity about doing research” posts hinting at sessions or posters or discussions about research anxiety, research to support a successful tenure track chase, and research for students’ class assignments. I would love to hear more of the ACRL Conference discussions (As well as other venues) about these and how people are managing theirs or their students’ research angst.

Virtual Conference Thoughts

While I respect and applaud ACRL for making the effort to host a simultaneous virtual conference, I see no mechanism for post-event information dissemination/sharing. I checked the “About” page and only see that if I want to “attend” I would have had to pony up the registration fee for the Virtual Conference before registration closed.

Is there a moving wall of access? Maybe ACRL members (like me) have access (I prefer interactive, but read-only would be acceptable) after the conference ends, ALA members a few weeks later, and maybe read-only for the general netizen a few weeks after that? Yes, lots of policy and finance discussions would probably need ot happen at the ACRL level.
I suspect there’s a lot of info in there that could be potentially useful & I’d like an opportunity to check it out and maybe add to the discussions.