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Boston: It Could Someday Be San Francisco

Ok, that was me trying to being funny about what is really one of the few cities to rival my glorious hometown. I always enjoy Boston, and the 40-ish weather, while worrisome from a climate-change perspective, certainly makes it easy to get around.

But I spent most of today doing vendor stuff (wrapping up the night in a fun Southie pub with hearty food and yummy draft beer–Dale’s Pale Ale on tap!) and I feel I should do a little round-up before it all evaporates, considering that I have repeatedly referred to my present abode as the Parker Roll Hotel.

First, when I interviewed at Peanut U, a faculty member asked me about electronic theses and dissertations. I gave a rather vague answer, but the reality is quite concrete (in many senses of the word): our facility is literally groaning from the weight of uncataloged materials, theses eminent among them. We have been advised not to add more weight to our top floor, and I don’t have the shinola to pay for all that original cataloging, which we would need to outsource. So it intrigued me to hear that our ebrary collection could be configured to upload our own PDFs, effectively creating a mini-ETD-repository. I am asking myself and others why we wouldn’t do that, at least as a pilot project.

Creating topic collections of web resources seems to be a hot thing these days. Oh wait–I managed a project that did that, extremely well in fact, before it was kiboshed by the Powers That Were. Never mind; vendors to the rescue (ebrary, Springshare, Credo, and so on).

Wiley-Blackwell deserved a tour, as we ponder e-backfiles for MPOW. (We can convert to e-backfiles, or let the building slide down the hill and obstruct traffic. You decide! Besides, the thick layers of dust on our print journals give us the guidance we need.) Plus I spoke with an unbelievably perky trainer/advocate/educator about demos. My dear friend Millie, who knows everything about collections and then some, advised me in my first week to ask vendors to do demos to engage faculty in our e-resources.

I stopped by the APA booth to ask who to speak with to suggest that the APA publication manual be issued as an eBook. I had wondered about this, particularly after the cluster-fornication that was called the 6th edition, but it became evident why APA hadn’t done this yet. First I was told that they would pass along my suggestion. No, I said, tell me who to speak with. Much conversation ensued. I was finally handed a Post-It with the name of Julia Frank-McNeil written in pencil. I am sincerely hoping Julia is part of the solution, because if she isn’t–to quote my funny mother, who always likes this line–she is therefore part of the precipitate.  Paging Julia Frank-McNeil!

Then I stopped by Learning Express. Me: I’m you’re customer. Them: no you aren’t. Me: yes I AM. Them: sonofagun, so you are! We license some very nice video tutorials through them.

I visited Web of Knowledge right before the closing bell rang, and we’ll catch up Monday. Sunday is a committee-ish, LITA-ish, vendor-ish day. I may start Sunday with an Alexander Press breakfast.We’ll see.

The convention prize for Best Use of Airspace goes to my buddies at Equinox Software, who have a fake evergreen soaring toward the sky. People commented that they could find Equinox from anywhere on the floor.  Open source continues to flourish, and why not? Choice and power and engagement are powerful things.

I also attended the GLBTRT Bylaws meeting. This is one of those committees where two dedicated people are doing the heavy lifting, and though some of us will catch up next month with a little effort, I thank them.

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