Tuesday, November 22, 2011

CLA-CSLA Annual Conference and Exposition

Earlier this month I had the privilege to attend the CLA-CSLA Annual Conference and Exposition in Pasadena. I was given a pass to the exhibition hall and took a few pictures as I visited different booths. This was my first visit to the conference and I learned a great deal from talking with vendors and booth staffers.

I was also able to speak with vendors likeShowcases for technical services to see what new and innovative products they had to offer. The staffers at the University of North Texas booth were very friendly and explained what their library science program had to offer. I also visited the San Jose State University booth and learned a little bit about their graduate program.

I met a friendly booth staffer named Jozi at the Better World Books booth. She was very helpful in explaining how her company works with libraries to find new homes for their discarded books at no cost. In doing so the net proceeds are shared between the library and a non-profit literacy partner.

Baker and Taylor (their mascots are on the bag above) very informative. I’d learned a bit about them in class before regarding acquisitions, but I learned at the booth that Baker and Taylor has other services to offer such as RFID tagging and cataloging services. I also came across a booth showcasing a service called HealthyCity, which is a website-based portal that helps a user find different types of social services and cultural programs locally in California.

The vendor Boopsie provided a fun mobile application that I was able to use for this conference. The app was very useful for the convention as it served as a pocket guide. Yet it was more than just a reference guide as I could select different workshops and presentations and schedule them within the phone with reminders.

And last but not least, I was able to pick up this bag with this fun quote. If you missed this year’s conference, the 2012 CLA-CSLA conference will be held in Anaheim.(Please see edit below.)

For a full listing of the different exhibitors please check out the Exhibitors Guide.

11/29/11 Edit: Sorry, the information about next year's conference is incorrect. CLA and CSLA will not be holding a joint conference. The CLA conference will be held in San Jose in 2012.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

CLA-CSLA Conference - It's Not Too Late!

Still debating whether or not to make the trek to the CLA-CSLA Conference? If you think it's too late to register, students who are CLA (California Library Association) or CSLA (California School Library Association) members still get the same discounted price of $95 registering on-site. If you're not yet a member of either organization, you can sign up while registering. If one just wants to attend the exhibits, the cost is $25 per day.

So, why go? Attending can be a great way to network and see what's new in the library world. Usually, various prospective employers will have booths set up in the exhibit area. Also, if one attends various workshops, this can be an excellent chance to meet other librarians and library staff.

The exhibit area will be open Friday afternoon from 3-6pm, all day Saturday from 10am-4pm and Sunday from 10am-2pm. If you are around Friday afternoon, don't miss the Book Cart Drill Team Competition which is always a hoot to watch! One can also catch the All School Student Social at Camille's Sidewalk Cafe from 6-8pm Friday evening.

I plan to volunteer Friday at the Registration Desk in the afternoon and attend the conference all three days. Hopefully, I'll see some of you there in attendance.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


LibraryThing is a library-esque service for those interested in cataloging and managing an OPAC on an individual level. It is a user based cataloging and social networking site, something like Facebook but for books. LibraryThing is pretty easy to use no matter how big or small your collection might be. Members add in as much or as little information as they wish regarding tags, reviews, and even some light cataloging information like call numbers and book physical features. The books listed need not be owned to be added, if you have read it, or want to read it in the future, there is a place for it on LibraryThing.

One great feature of LibraryThing is the ability to categorize books by using tags. This allows a search via interest rather than by subject heading. A tag search is incredibly useful when looking for books that contain specific elements desired by the reader. For instance LibraryThing uses a style of search called “Tagmash” which looks for several tags listed together. The Tagmash then identifies books which possess all of those tags. Books which have been tagged repeatedly will come up higher in the results list. For example the tags “1990s,” “magic,” and “school” point toward several of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. The Tagmash search would simply be written out like this:

1990s, magic, school

The comma between each tag is needed for a successful search. Otherwise the search words would be looked for as one whole tag and not three separate tags.

There is also a recommendation feature LibraryThing bases upon your current collection. It compares your collection to other members who have similar collections of books and then makes suggestions based on the types of stories you and members with similar tastes prefer. For all of the above features and more, LibraryThing is free to browse and if you join you can add up to 200 books to your profile. A small fee is required if you want to add more than 200 books.

LibraryThing also has a very nice feature called LibraryThing Local which is a calendar list of library events in any given neighborhood. Not all library events are listed, but it is a good, quick general reference for events near you. The LibraryThing Local search can be modified by distance, location, library/bookstore/institution name, or by the type of event being held. These events are independent of member collections and can be browsed without an account.

I’ve had my own LibraryThing account for a few years now and really love being able to look at a virtual representation of the books I’ve had to box up and put away for the time being.