Monday, January 18, 2010

ALA Midwinter in Boston

The American Library Association's Midwinter meeting was in Boston this year, held at various hotels around the city but mainly at the new Boston Convention & Exhibition Center (which, by the way, is a little tricky to get to but a beautiful space).

We checked out the exhibit floor at the opening on Friday night (pictured at left), which
was very impressive: vendors of all stripes (publishers, library movers, suppliers of everything from OPAC software to furniture to databases to, oddly, pashmina scarves). Collected lots of literature on the areas I was tasked to get information on (microfilm scanners, art shelving), and picked up a few interesting-looking galleys from the various publishers (and drooled over the copy of the new Oxford Companion to the Book at the OUP booth).

I think my happiest moment of the night was when we got to the LibraryThing booth, where
Tim & Co. were showing off all the various LibraryThing for Libraries goodies (including
some awesome new features). The booth was just about completely mobbed every time we walked by, which was fantastic to see. I hope they picked up lots of new LTFL clients and general users too!

On Saturday night we joined a bunch of folks for the LT Meetup at the Green Dragon in Boston - that was great fun, a good chance to meet the LT crew and talk with some folks in person that I've known through LT for a long time. And we got to meet some new folks, many of whom had come from quite a distance to visit Boston for ALA.

Since the weekend involved other projects as well I didn't get to quite as much of the "conference-type" stuff as I'd hoped, but will post on that part of things later on.

This morning, the last day of the exhibits, I T'ed out to the hall again (complete was a nice slog through some really unpleasant weather), since the publishers were said to be doing deals on their display copies. I beelined to the OUP booth as soon as the doors opened, and snapped up the Companion to the Book volumes at half price. Can't beat that! Then I wandered the hall one more time, chatted with some publishers, picked up another few galleys, and called it a day. Still good crowds out today, even with the weather, which was gratifying.

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