Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Building the Ultimate Portal & More

Today I went to PLA’s Building the Ultimate Portal: Selection Secrets of the Librarians’ Internet Index (LII). Karen Schneider, Director of LII, was very engaging. The way she presented herself and how she spoke about LII—you could tell she is very intelligent. Although primarily for public libraries, Schneider indicated that some academics will use LII as a means for creating bibliographies. LII currently has 3 FTE’s and 1 cataloger. Schneider indicated that everyone comes from a library background, and she spent some time discussing faceted navigation. In all, it was an excellent program

In the afternoon, I stopped by the vendor hall. I met Ohio’s regional sales representative for the H.W. Wilson Company, Lynda O’Connor. OhioLINK was set to drop H.W. Wilson’s Art Abstract database. So, I asked her what I could do to help OhioLINK make the right decision, i.e. keep Art Abstracts. She said she could get me comparable statistics against another certain database producer that does an arts & humanities database. I hope she can come through ;-)

I also stopped by Casalini Libri. There I met the lovely Kathyrn Paoletti. She introduced me to a new line called DE@ARTE. DE@ARTE is a resource for art librarians with a selection of titles from Central & Eastern Europe. It looks great!

Of course I stopped by 3M’s booth. There I met several regional sales representatives as well as Fred Goodman, president of Public Information Kiosk (of e-library fame – See 3M/NMRT Reception & Social below). I was also given a tour of 3M’s products. Heavy emphasis was placed on RFID technologies. A lot I had seen from Nancy Lensenmayer’s Library Automation class at OCLC. However, I was also shown items that I haven’t seen or haven’t seen in practice. The first item was a moveable work station to add RFID tags—very cool. The next item was machine that 3M uses for RFID-assisted shelf reading. I’ve seen other which look like wands, but this one included a thin, yet sturdy, projection so that one can get in-between books or files. This would be very helpful to retrieve the signal from books that may have fallen behind. The entire sales staff at 3M was knowledgeable and cordial. Dave Pointon and Fred Goodman really made me feel at home. Thanks to everyone I met at the booth.

The day kind of ended rather meekly. I felt a little worn down. So, I went to bed early.

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