Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Midwinter Fun in San Diego

A warm breeze blew me across the country this past weekend so that I could attend American Library Association's Midwinter Meeting in San Diego.

While most of the sessions I went to were related to business for New Members Round Table (NMRT) here are a few notes from other sessions that I attended.

Author’s Forum – sponsored by ALA, Exhibits Round Table (ERT) and Booklist

David Levithan, Stewart O’Nan, Armistead Maupin and Susan Vreeland spoke with Booklist Adult Books Editor Brad Hooper.  While I wasn’t familiar with any of the authors (unfortunately), I wasn’t disappointed by this panel.  All of them were well spoken and shared interesting stories about their process and/or their current books.  Afterwards, I was able to get Susan Vreeland and David Levithan to sign copies of their last books.   More coverage on the forum

Newspaper Interest Group – ALCTS – Building Digital Newspapers

I didn’t know that there was a newspaper interest group within ALA.  Luckily this session (described below) was posted on multiple listservs.  There was probably 10-20 people at the session.  While the experience of Sarah, Vicky and Brian can’t be directly applied to NPR’s archive, it was interesting to hear others talk about their news archives.  All of the presenters mentioned the difficulty of News organizations actually sending content to some kind of archive – let alone having consistent (and accurate) metadata.

The Newspaper Interest Group discussion session at the ALA midwinter meeting will explore efforts to collect, archive and make accessible PDFs of contemporary newspapers.  Sarah Quimby will present on a recent project at the Minnesota Historical Society to start collecting newspaper PDFs in that state.  Vicky McCargar will survey some ways publishers currently archive born-digital content.  And Brian Geiger will demo software his center has started to use to allow California publishers to upload PDFs and convert them into METS/ALTO digital objects.


Sarah Quimby is the Library Processing Manager at the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul, Minnesota. She received her M.S.L.S. from the Catholic University of America, and has also worked at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library.

Victoria McCargar is an archivist and digital preservation consultant. Trained in journalism and information science, she worked in digital asset management at the Los Angeles Times beginning in 1993 and oversaw the development of the paper’s landmark graphics databases. Her day job is archivist at Mount St. Mary’s College, Los Angeles; by night she teaches preservation management in the San José State online library program.

Brian Geiger is Director of the Center for Bibliographical Studies and Research at the University of California, Riverside.  Among the projects he manages is the California Digital Newspaper Collection (CDNC), a freely accessible repository of digitized California newspapers, and the California Newspaper Microfilm Archive. For the last year the Center has worked to start a program to collect current newspaper PDFs from
ublishers and process them for inclusion in the CDNC.

Maximize The Value of the Research Library – sponsored by Ex-Libris

This session was titled Getting the Library Dog to Bark which was taken from a presentation done by David Shulenburger at a Library Assessment Conference in Baltimore this past year. Again the focus of the presentation (assessment in academic libraries) wasn’t relevant to NPR's workflow, but it was an interesting presentation.  Paul Bracke presented how Purdue Libraries went from de-centralized libraries to centralized libraries in order to align with the University goals better. Part of this realignment included rethinking end-to-end workflows without worrying about who was going to do the work.

ALA President’s Program – Ted Danson

When I first read what Ted Danson was going to talk about (his foundation Oceana and his new book –Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them) I wasn’t sure this session was going to be interesting. But I should have known that a comedic actor like Ted would have the audience laughing throughout.  ALA President Roberta Stevens interviewed him for almost 1 ½ hours.  While Ted is mostly a figure-head for Oceana, he does “get smart” (as he called it) from the scientists before going out and speaking about Oceans.  He also shared a little about his acting career in TV and Film.  More coverage on the interview

If you are curious to see pictures of San Diego, check out the Midwinter Flickr group.  I must admit it was hard to leave the lovely weather of southern California.

Here is a list of books below that I picked up in San Diego:
            Rebecca Hunt – Mr. Chartwell
            Tea Obreht – The Tiger’s Wife
            Ellen Sussman – French Lessons

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