Tuesday, June 26, 2007

ALA Conference II

This year's ALA conference was more about seeing people I hadn't seen for a long time. One was a woman who I went to library school with. I ran into her and her daughter in one of the hotel lobbies. The last time I saw them the daughter was in a stroller. I've got some pictures in my camera that I will be loading to my personal site but I forgot to take the cable to upload them to my computer.

Other than the OCLC Symposium, the most interesting thing I attended was the discussion group I was co-convening with Jan Zauha from Montana State. The topic of the discussion was around the role of academic libraries in promoting reading and literacy. Most of the discussion revolved around recreational reading programs. One library was getting surplus from the local public library's multiple copies. That seemed like a good way for an academic library to work with the public library in town. Another library provided space for a small circulating collection from the public library so that their students could have easy access to popular titles when they needed to read during their spare time. Unfortunately, everyone agreed that students don't really have much time to read anything outside of their classroom. Most of the libraries represented around the table were involved with some type of readings or programs throughout the year. Once again over committed faculty and students led to low turnouts for most programs.

On Sunday night I was able to have dinner with Chris Cox who is currently serving as the interim director at UW - Eau Claire. We talked about the town and what to expect of Eau Claire and what to expect from the area. He helped me learn more about the library community in Eau Claire and the state. I was able to learn more about the ways things worked in McIntyre. We also talked about some of the things I hope to accomplish when I get there. One of the interesting things about Eau Claire is that there are three fairly new library directors in the city. I will be the newest. The director of the Eau Claire Public Library has been in his position for about a year. And, there is a new director at the Indianhead Federated Library System, the local regional system headquartered in Eau Claire. This might be a great time to get together and see what types of collaboration we can think up.

No comments: