By Tom Gilson
Summer in Las Vegas is not everyone’s idea of a good time. Nonetheless 18,626 intrepid souls braved the scorching temperatures and oppressive heat of the desert southwest to attend ALA’s annual conference in Sin City. Librarians, publishers, and vendors from throughout the U.S. as well as other countries gathered to attend some 2500 programs and events, discuss issues of common concern, and network with their professional colleagues.
The majority of events were held at the Las Vegas Convention Center a couple of miles from the casinos of the famed “Vegas Strip.” Fortunately, most attendees didn’t seem to mind. After all, those in need of a little diversion could easily find their way to the bright lights of Las Vegas Boulevard. Of course, we realize that a lot of you couldn’t get there at all so we thought we would try to convey a sense of what went on by sharing a few conference related posts and articles that “caught our eye.”
- Library Journal’s What Happened in Vegas | ALA 2014 offers a solid overview of the conference reported from numerous perspectives that seems to coalesce around three themes; an “emphasis on embracing change; an expansive and interactive definition of libraries’ mission; and a focus on embracing technology and making it welcoming to all.” The article also highlights company news and announcements, book and database developments, and a report on ALA Council activities.
AL Direct, Annual Conference Wrap-Up, July 2, 2014 lists over 90 reports from American Libraries and CogNotes with links to the full text of the originals. Conference highlights, ALA News, featured authors, division sessions, awards, tech, and other events are all featured.
Vendor News Roundup | ALA 2014. Announcements from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Boopsie and BiblioCommons and Zola Books get equal billing with news from heavyweights like ProQuest, EBSCO, Ingram and 3M. Relevant links to specific information are provided throughout.Digital Shift provides a useful update of vendor, publisher, and product news in
Anticipatory Discovery and One-Click Server Installs Among LITA Top Tech Trends is another Sin City update from Digital Shift’s Matt Enis. This report focuses on the Library and Information Technology Association’s (LITA) Top Tech Trends panel, held on June 29. The panel discussion covered issues ranging from evolving discovery solutions to the librarian’s role in helping faculty manage their research data to library use of open hardware systems to accommodating the rapid growth of mobile devices.
Sue Polanka shares a number of Library eBook updates from the ALA conference in her blog No Shelf Required. Sue “was able to speak with a variety of ebook vendors about updates to interfaces, products, and services” and she offers a substantial bullet list of vendors with highlights for each. Starting with selected updates from the previous 6 months, Sue goes on to list the things she discovered in the exhibit hall from Baker and Taylor, Britannica, Knowledge Unlatched, Odilo, Overdrive, ProQuest, Rosen, 3M, TotalBoox, and Unglue.it.
Other reports of possible interest include:
- FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler speaks on your libraries, E-rate and calls for improvement
- Policy discussions continue at ALA Annual Conference in Vegas
- New Academic Librarian On The Road
- COA announces accreditation decisions taken at 2014 Annual Conference
- Celebrating librarianship: Six innovative librarians receive awards sponsored by OCLC
Tom is originally from Brooklyn N.Y but has spent his entire professional career in South Carolina, most recently as Head of Reference Services at the College of Charleston. As part of the Against the Grain and Charleston Conference team, he serves as the associate editor of the print ATG as well as the co-editor of the webpage. Tom’s conference duties include coordinating the Penthouse Suite interviews as well as the conference poster sessions.
He received his MLS from the University of Buffalo, SUNY and a second master’s in public administration from the College of Charleston and the Univ. of South Carolina. His wife Carol and he live in downtown Charleston and she is an artist and a tour guide offering historic walking tours of the city.