Sunday, July 1st, 2007

Tim’s notes on ALA 2007

I never finished my big sum-up of the American Library Association annual conference, so I thought I’d turn it into a “notes on ALA” post.

I had HUGE fun at the BIGWIG Social Software Showcase, an informal, underground “unconference” for “Lib2.0” folks to present short presentations. I gave a short one on LibraryThing for Libraries. Michael Porter of WebJunction/OCLC, who did a great presentation on the Facebook API, and I got into a boistrous debate on LibraryThing, librarians and non-librarians, commercial vs. non-commercial entites and OCLC’s closed data policies. Here, David Free, Michael Habib and Kevin Clair look on as I try to intimidate Michael with my extra-large hands (photo by rachelvacek). But we ended up friendly. And, since then, whenever I mention his name, the person I’m talking to blurts out “Oh, he’s a nice guy!” Anyway, it’s clear that if OCLC is the Death Star, he’s a civilian contractor.

Talk. I did a RUSA MARS talk on tags, libraries and social networking. I posted my introduction last week. My favorite quote was this one from Hidden Peanuts:

“Tim Spalding’s presentation was jaw dropping. I’ve played with LibraryThing before, but only a little bit. I had no idea of how deep its current functionality goes.”

But in twenty minutes I didn’t get to be clear about where subjects work and where tags work. Mostly I just did examples where they worked. I think that was a factor in this post.

“On the negative side, I overheard some people chatting as I was waiting in line in the rest room the they were unhappy with Tim’s criticism of Library of Congress Subject Headings.”

Mini photo gallery. Jason Griffey opening the BIGWIG thing. Tim falling off the surfboard meant to demonstrate ALA Anaheim. Abby enjoying cheese fondue. (Cafe La Rouche, a favorite haunt when I was in Georgetown, has great cheese fondue!) Cell phones take bad pictures, so they’re not clickable.

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