Midwinter Meeting Schedule (Plus News of a Free Midwinter Airport Shuttle)

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The year is coming to a close, so that must mean that the midwinter meeting of the American Library Association is right around the corner. Yep, there it is -- just two and a half weeks away in Boston. A conference in Boston in January -- the rates have got to be cheap. ((I wonder when we are going to San Antonio next? That is my favorite place for a midwinter meeting. What?!? According to the future conference schedule we're not schedule to go back to San Antonio but will be back in Boston for 2016? Bummer!)) Given the fast approaching meeting, it is definitely time to strategize about how to tap into the pulse of library-land. Here is my plan so far. If you would like to get together in the spaces between meetings, or at the meetings themselves, let me know!

Friday, January 15th

Friday morning I'll be at the OCLC Americas Regional Council meeting (8:30am to 11:30am; Westin Waterfront, Grand ballroom A/B). With a meeting title like "New Ways to Communicate—Engaging the Membership" plus an interest in the OCLC Record Use policy, how can I not go? This is the first public meeting of the Americas regional council. You can sign up to attend at OCLC's Midwinter Events page.

On Friday afternoon I'll be at RMG's 2010 ALA/Midwinter Annual Presidents' Seminar (2:00pm to 5:00pm; Convention Center Room 162 A/B). Rob McGee's seminars bring together the heads of library automation companies to talk through the issues of the day. Of late, he has also been giving a platform to the various open source library automation projects that might not have a corporate face, so it usually turns out to be a well-rounded discussion. This has long been a Midwinter highlight for me.

At end the day, I'll probably be at the LITA Happy Hour (5:00pm to 7:00pm; Capiz Bar of the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel). Note the "probably" -- it depends on the arrival schedule of someone I need to meet. If weather messes with late afternoon flights, I'm more likely to be at the happy hour.

Saturday, January 16th

Saturday starts with another familiar ritual: the bi-annual meetings of the LITA Interest Group and Committee chairs (8:00am to 10:00am; Convention Center room 258C). I find this is a good way to get into the swing of the conference: the meeting has a quick tempo and usually has good tidbits of information about LITA activities. During some past conventions I've had conflicts on Saturday morning, and when I do I find that I feel like I'm a half-step behind the rest of the convention.

My Saturday morning plans continue with an open meeting of the OCLC Record Use Policy review council (10:30am to noon; Renaissance Boston, Atlantic rooms 1/2). As seen by the reaction to the proposed policy, this group is getting to the heart of OCLC as a cooperative and WorldCat as a pool of bibliographic information. Will we come to a new shared understanding of what membership in OCLC is? Can WorldCat records become the heart of open bibliographic linked data? Am I telegraphing my desires too much? We'll see...

Saturday afternoon has my firmest commitment of the conference: the LITA JPEG 2000 Interest Group (1:30pm to 3:00pm; Convention Center room 157B). I'm serving as chair of this IG, and although we have no formal programming plans, those that come to the meeting in the past have engaged in interesting and thoughtful conversations about the use of JPEG2000 for presenting still images online and for archiving still and moving pictures. Good stuff.

Saturday afternoon rounds out with either the LITA Standards Interest Group meeting (4:00pm to 5:30pm; Convention Center room 104A/B) or the ACRL Image Resources Interest Group meeting (4:00pm to 5:30pm; Westin Copley Place, Great Republic room). On the one hand, the LITA Standards Interest Group is about the only place NISO is planning a public presentation during Midwinter (from what I understand they are not buying exhibit spaces, so they can't schedule their normal independent update meeting). On the other hand, the ACRL Image Resources Interest Group is just getting going this year, so I'd like to learn more about what they are planning to do. Tough choice...might default to just staying at the convention center...we'll see.

Sunday, January 17th

Sunday starts where I began the day on Friday: back at the Westing Waterfront for the OCLC Update Breakfast (7:00am to 9:00am; Westin Waterfront Grand Ballroom). There seems to be a pattern emerging -- watching, contemplating, and influencing (as much as one can) the direction OCLC is headed. Jay Jordon will give his semiannual update of OCLC, which, if the past is any guide, will be recorded and webcast a month or so after the event. The great part about the face-to-face meeting though is catching up with senior OCLC staff. Yeah, I know -- I live less than two miles from OCLC's headquarters and work less than 20 minutes from it, but I have to go all the way to Boston to carve out time to meet with them.

Next planned event is the discussion meeting of the LITA Top Technology Trends Committee (10:30am to noon; Convention Center room 162A/B). A good place to network and soak up information.

Then it is back over to the Westin Waterfront for the OCLC Developer Network Luncheon (noon to 1:30pm; Westin Waterfront, Webster Room). Hobnobbing with geeks and eating cold cut sandwiches. Enough said?

Sunday afternoon is open, and will probably be spent in the exhibit hall.

Monday, January 18th

Starting with the LITA Town Meeting (8:00am to 10:00am; Convention Center room 151A/B). I'm not sure what the agenda will be, but it is a good place -- other than the happy hour -- to connect with other LITA members.

Flying out Monday late afternoon.

Free Midwinter Airport Shuttle

Ending your convention at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center? This might be just the ticket. While perusing the Midwinter Travel Information page on the ALA website, I came across this announcement:

Free Airport Shuttle-(Proof of hotel reservation in ALA hotel block and sign up required) You will receive a free airport shuttle ticket from the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center to Logan International Airport on Monday, Jan 18, 2010 if you reserve a room in the ALA hotel block though Experient (our registration company). You must sign up for the ride at the shuttle supervisor table located at the shuttle drop-off location at the convention center. You must keep your ticket to present to the bus driver when boarding for the airport. Tickets are not transferable. Exhibitors are included.

Sounds great to me. Now, where am I going to stash my luggage on Monday...