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A Dozen Neat Take-aways from ALA Midwinter 2009

My killer-app moment was with Summon, a new unified-search service from Serial Solutions that does what we really want a product like this to do: natively indexes data from its sources (databases, ebooks, OPACs, etc.) so that retrieval is fast and consistent. Summon makes your typical metasearch tool look like a rusty wagon with square wheels. (As for the alternative of A-to-Z lists for databases… they remind me of the grocery store toothpaste aisle, which has far, far too many options.)

Summon from Serial Solutions

Summon from Serial Solutions

LITA Top Tech Trends, smoothly orchestrated by its committee (with special shout-outs to Jason Griffey and Cindi Trainor). The tech even went up immediately! Michael Porter reports that in the video I looked like I was trying to lick the last drops of coffee out of my mug… watch it and decide ;-)

Great socials by Equinox and OCLC. Not as many folks as we thought (attendance was down at Midwinter), but both were good events. I left the OCLC Blog Salon to head to another event which the cabby could not find, so after 20 minutes I had him take me back to the Hyatt to return to the Blog Salon — what I later realized was me reverting to my Last Known Good Configuration.

Wonderful PUBLIB social at Baur’s — the best social in years, expertly coordinated by PUBLIB’er Mindy Kittay.

The Tattered Cover Bookstore. O.k., I have to admit, when I went there I almost had to poke the staff to get attention and their expressions were… bored; and the bookstore didn’t seem to have a whole lot of books. But I’ve spent years wanting to go there, and I done it.

Hyatt Regency Denver. I stayed in this hotel 15 months ago, for the first Defrag conference. I so adore it. Video art in the elevators, rooms that are designed around business travelers with movable desks and comfortable chairs, a great 27th-story lounge, a people-watching first-floor lounge… this is one of my top ten favorite hotels.

A meal and a social at the Curtis, a very amusing boutique hotel.

The LITA Forum 2009 meeting, expertly managed by my friend Zoe, even though I had to leave for a minute to rescue my Blackberry from the women’s room. I had to retrieve my BB three times at Midwinter.

Following ALA Council proceedings via Twitter. Yup, there are folks twittering key Council votes. Council may not be interested in transparency, but transparency is interested in Council.

Janet Swan Hill’s outstanding job on the Task Force on Electronic Meeting Participation. We got so much work done in advance we were able to cancel the second meeting — more time for exhibits, networking, etc. Isn’t that the point?

Snow – especially since it was other people’s snow. Didn’t have to drive in it, didn’t have to shovel it.

Lunches and dinners with my friends, and you know who you are. Christine, sorry I left early and had to cancel, but let’s pinpoint Chicago!

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