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Jul 1, 2008
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Quick ALA Writeup: Photos to Come

Tuesday, July 1, 2008 - 08:54 PM

My first American Library Association Conference has come and gone...and I had a blast. As an occupation, there is no friendlier group of folks than librarians.

Example A: After my post about the original art being taken from the booth...I had no less than four librarians come up and offer to pay for it. I of course didn't take any of them up on their offer -- but their supremely kind gesture(s) put in relief what a great group of people librarians are.

Example B: Almost every single librarian Sheldonista at the conference brought another librarian with them to introduce them to Sheldon...which was awesome. I suppose it comes from having a job where you're constantly helping to connect people to the things they need: Even at a conference, that impulse continues!

I wandered around the massive Anaheim Convention Center for just a bit, and was amazed and the breadth and depth of arcane or rarely-seen services on display. My favorite display? The automatic book-page-turner-thingies-with-auto-scanning. It's basically a machine...designed to flip pages...and take high-quality, accurate scans...super quickly. It's the same thing Google is using to scan much of the Western world's literature. Anyway, watching these machines at work with super-brittle books, I couldn't help but be impressed at the multiple engineering hurdles that no doubt had to be overcome. It's like having a robotic hand pick up an egg: Not as easy as it looks.

Other highlights of the show: Exhibiting with Unshelved's Bill Barnes and his pen-name-weilding partner, Gene Ambaum...with whom the laughter abounded. Around about Sunday, though, I decided that Gene's pen name was a ridiculous contrivance for a cartoonist, and started calling him "Fakey McGee". If you're an Unshelved reader, please drop ol' "Fake-Name" a line for me and tell him you love his *new* nom de plume. :)

Sheldon intern Stephanie made it down to the show on Tuesday, and I'm happy to report she had fun (and had some good interviews with publishers) at this, her first trade show!

When I get a free second in the next few days (...read: probably two weeks from now) I'll post a photo album from the show to share with everyone.

In the meantime: a huge THANK YOU to all the librarians who came by, said hi, and gave me such a warm welcome! You made this show immensely fun.

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Flaco

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