Friday, June 22, 2007

ALA Conference

Tonight I am writing from the ALA Conference in Washington DC. Cely and I flew the red-eye out of Portland and got in at 8:30. I got a couple of hours sleep on the plane but have been pretty fuzzy all day.

The first person I ran into was Chris Cox. That was pretty amazing. We had a little chat but got interrupted by a call from my realtor. I had to take the call because she needed to tell me the results of our house inspections. I will need to make a couple of repairs before the closing. I'm glad I took the call.

This afternoon I went to the OCLC Symposium that they usually have on Friday. I may have still been fuzzy but I was a little disappointed in this one. I was really looking forward to hearing Siva Vaidhyanathan but I didn't get what I hoped fore. He mostly spoke about the positive aspects of surveillance. He admitted that his view of the topic are reflexive of his environment; Greenwich Village in NY NY. Then he ended by putting more of the privacy invasion onus on corporations and not the government. I'm not sure I agree. His answer was that we need a rich dialog about privacy and surveillance in order to reestablish trust within our society. Not much to argue with that but not much in terms of insights from an insider.

Later in the early evening I attended the ACRL Dr. E. J. Josey Spectrum Scholar Mentor Program reception. I have been acting as a mentor for a student at the UNC Chapel Hill library school for the past year. Even though my protege was not there I did get to meet some highly capable and dedicated young librarians. It is good to see that the profession will be in such fine hands. It was also exciting to hear people tell me how lucky I was to be going to UW - Eau Claire. McIntyre Library is held in high regard. Ewa Barczyk, from UW - Milwaukee was there and welcomed me to the Wisconsin library community. I always look for her at the ALA conferences because my youngest daughter is working on an MA in German Translation there. I keep trying to find out if Ewa is seeing her in the library everyday.

More to come tomorrow.

1 comment:

Siva said...

I am sorry that I did not perform as well as you had hoped at the OCLC symposium.

I was using my environment to illustrate my points. I hope I did not come out sounding pro-surveillance. I do think that targeted surveillance done with due process and oversight by the state is essential and that we all benefit from it.

I want us to remember that the problem with the new culture of surveillance is the unaccountability, invisibility, and pervasiveness of it.