Midwinter miscellany

The ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting is almost upon us. If weather doesn’t preclude it, I’ll be in Boston a bit less than a week from now (that is, next Friday, but several hours earlier than this post).

Sometimes people forget that, at its heart, the Midwinter Meeting is a meeting–or, rather, about 3,000 of them, all in one spot. It’s explicitly not a conference: There are very few exceptions to the “No Formal Programs” rule.

Some of us who’ve been around ALA too long remember when Midwinter really was little more than a set of meetings, with a relatively small cast (on the order of 2,000-3,000 people). I have early memories of Midwinter in Washington, DC, when it was held in two hotels near the zoo and when you quite literally could spend a few hours in the Sheraton’s lobby bar–at the time, a big, circular, “lobby bar” right in the middle of the lobby–and you’d see almost everybody you knew in the field. (OK, at the time, I didn’t know that many people–but then as now, Midwinter was a great place to meet new ones.)

Even then, topical discussions without planned speakers were a large part of what made Midwinter different. They still are, for all the discussion groups and for those interest groups who don’t just spend Midwinter planning Annual programs. Those discussions were and are a great way to share information and ideas (I won’t say “like an unconference,” but with much of a good unconference’s equality, participation and spontaneity).

If you’re relatively new to Midwinter, don’t be taken aback by the lack of a large formal program. That’s for summer. Midwinter’s a time to get the association’s business done (and, admittedly, a lot more of that really should take place virtually, with due respect to ALA’s sunshine laws), a place to plan for summer, a place for a more focused approach to a slightly smaller set of exhibits–and a place to renew professional acquaintances, make new ones, and share insights and ideas both in groups and in the various lobbies. Let’s hope Boston’s weather is at least tolerable…and that those who need or want to be there are able to make it.

That said, there are a few items I should perhaps repeat prior to Midwinter:

Want to get together? Let me know!

My so-called schedule is still very loose, and will probably stay that way. If you want to get together for some reason, let me know–beforehand, since I won’t have internet access during Midwinter (unless the internet room happens to be less busy than usual!)

But Still They Blog early-bird prices

You can still buy But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009 for $20 PDF, $29.50 paper, from now through the end of ALA Midwinter. (If you’re wondering, the difference in my net proceeds for the two versions is enormous: $0.02–I get two cents more for the print version than for the download. So, y’know, buy whichever one suits your needs!)

By the way, I’d still need four people to indicate a possible willingness to buy an ePub version, before I go to the work of producing one. (I have no way of knowing who actually buys Lulu books, by the way.)

Cites ON a Plane 2010

This special non-issue, prepared for your traveling pleasure (or not), will be available from now until I return from ALA Midwinter. Or, better yet, buy the PDF version of But Still They Blog: The Liblog Landscape 2007-2009!

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