Thursday, July 03, 2008

ALA Report: Annual 2008

If your idea of fun at a professional conference is walking through a suburban shopping mall watching sweaty fat people with mouse ears eat ice cream, then Anaheim is the place for you!

But let us ignore for the moment your contemptible tastes and objectively judge Anaheim as a conference venue. I don't know what ALA idiots chose that miserable location for a conference, but I assume, as with so many things, they have a special committee of idiots doing most of the work. It looks to me they were working from a checklist of what to avoid at a conference venue, but got confused. Some problems:

20,000 librarians without cars go to a "city" dominated by--cars! They got this one just right. Anaheim is incredibly pedestrian-unfriendly, but I suppose the bloated Disney tourists like it that way. As a pedestrian, it was a terrible experience. Long blocks with no shade. Everything made longer because of all the parking lots. Long waits at crosswalks because the 58 lanes of traffic all had to go first. The morons in the cars didn't even seem aware that there were such things as pedestrians. Twice I was almost run over by jerk drivers pulling so quickly into parking lots they didn't notice that there might be (gasp!) people actually walking on the sidewalk in front of them. At one point I was doing my Ratso Rizzo impression, pounding on the hood and yelling, "I'm walking here!" The effect, I might add, was considerably lessened by the sundress.

And then there's food. I'm not sure where to begin on this one, because the area surrounding Disneyland and the convention center is the most culturally barren wasteland I've visited since once being stuck in a small town in North Carolina for a couple of days (don't ask). If a restaurant doesn't have crayons and a children's menu, it doesn't pass muster in the greater Disneyland area. One could walk a mile without passing a coffeeshop or a deli, which is of course perfect in the morning when one wants a coffee or bagel before heading to a tedious meeting. As far as I'm concerned, anyplace where you can't get a decent bagel just isn't worth going to. Regarding the restaurants, if you want anything less bland than an Olive Garden you've got to go far afield, and even then your options are limited. I did manage to find a decent local Mexican place run by decent local Mexicans and an excellent Thai place run by decent local Thais, but that was about it. Local flavor? Interesting food? Forget it.

Drinks, you might ask? Well, obviously there are no interesting bars in Anaheim. The thought would offend the sweaty fat people wearing mouse ears and eating ice cream. Anaheim is nothing if not a lowest common denominator location. Thus, I was relegated to hotel bars. Fortunately, I like a good hotel bar. The bars at the Hilton and Marriott were aesthetically tolerable. The drinks? Eh. Take the advice of someone who has tried this many times--never order a martini at a Hilton. East coast, west coast, flyover country, it doesn't matter. Hilton bartenders wouldn't know how to make a martini if they were channeling Bernard DeVoto. A martini should be cold, cold, cold. It seems to be a policy of Hilton bartenders to serve warm martinis in large glasses so they get even warmer by the time one has finished drinking. Perhaps that's the way that vulgarian Paris likes them, but that's not how they should be done. The Marriott wasn't much better. Take my advice, when in Anaheim or other cultural wastelands, skip the martinis and order gin and tonic, or perhaps a glass of wine. It's harder to mess those up.

Not that I didn't have some good times at ALA. I saw some good friends, had some good chats, and definitely had some fun NOT in the sun. Unfortunately for you all, it's not the kind of thing I can talk about on the AL, so you'll just have to use your imaginations. Next ALA is in Denver, which is more or less an improvement over Anaheim, but then I've never tried Colorado in January. It doesn't sound very inviting.

114 comments:

Anonymous said...

Glad to see you back, and look forward to a review of program content, but your concluding paragraph reminds me of something I've seriously wondered about: Is there a compelling reason for ALA to host summer meetings in sun-baked hotboxes and winter meetings in frozen climes?

It seems odd to me that sites would be selected at their most unpleasant, but maybe it appeals to some masochistic streak? Or is there a legitimate reason that eludes my limited imagination?

Anonymous said...

I'm already glad I didn't go - too many "consultants" running the show.
http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6574501.html

Minks said...

Lol.. I have kids so I just automatically assumed everybody wanted restaurants that have crayons readily available.

I spent a weekend in the swamps of Louisiana, your reference to "culturally barren" North Carolina reminded me of that trip. Very scary hill-billies out there. Or would they be swamp-billies? I came to the realization that were somebody to drag me out into the bushes and injure me somehow, I was a good 100 miles from any medical facility. Probably 100 miles from a bagel too.

I have never appreciated bagels. They remind me of what I would expect to be fed in a 17th century French prison. Maybe I have just been eating suck bagels? Now donuts are where the action is! Welcome to flavor country! One bite, and a party starts in your mouth and the entire staff is invited.

Umm,, eww,, that just does not sound all that great on a re-read.

Anonymous said...

Colorado in January. Yeah, who the hell thought THAT was a good idea????????????????

Dances With Books said...

Mink made me think of asking if he heard any dueling banjos on the swampland journey.

And anon. @ 1:34 asks the same thing I have asked before: why does ALA choose venues on the basis of those venues being at their most, shittiest unplesant season (Winter frozen wasteland and summer hell wasteland)?

By the way, I read the Anon. 143 link. I have to take exception (to put it mildly) to Stephen Abrams on librarians not putting their names on their nametags for fear of being stalked. When I was in library school, I had female librarian who DID get stalked because of having her name on the nametag. When they caught the guy, they found out he had simply looked up her name on the school directory, and the nightmare went from there. Obviously, Mr. Abrams is an example of a clueless consultant who would risk the safety of a librarian so "we appear more professional." His ridicule that it would not happen to a Wal-Mart worker is simply insensitive (not to mention his boneheaded remark of comparing us now to Wal-Mart workers?).

Anyhow, I better quit while I am ahead.

Anonymous said...

Stay at work and do something next time and save your employers the money.

Whiner.

Anonymous said...

You were in one of the biggest tourist spots in the world and you expect family owned restaurants?! You could have always took the bus a mile up the road where you would have run into a bunch of restaurants...

Alex Grigg said...

Actually, if you're going to Denver in the Winter you're pretty much just tossing the dice. January is the coldest month for Denver:

http://www.weather.com/outlook/recreation/outdoors/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USCO0105?from=search

But I have comfortably driven around in January with the top of my convertible down. On the other hand, if you have bad luck you could end up there on a day with three feet of snow. It'll be melted within a few days, but that's not much comfort if it happens in the middle of a conference.

Anyway, the crazy bad snowy weather is mostly only up farther in the mountains. I wouldn't be too worried about Denver.

jlr said...

I'm sure you're familiar with the old joke about the difference between L.A. and yogurt, right?

Yogurt has an active living culture.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a bit lowbrow for AL herself, but does anyone else remember the brief scene in Wayne's World in which we're treated to the collection of nametags and hairnets the protagonist has collected from all of his fast-food and retail jobs?

I'm pretty sure the nametag is universally recognized as a signifier of a manifestly non-professional, perhaps even anti-professional, job.

Like scheduling conferences in cities at their most hellish, sometimes I suspect the people pulling the library world's strings are just out to see how much the rank and file are willing to swallow.

Brent said...

I base my judgments of cities/states based on airports and rest areas. BTW, Massachusetts is great. You have top notch rest areas!

SafeLibraries.org said...

"Twice I was almost run over by jerk drivers pulling so quickly into parking lots they didn't notice that there might be (gasp!) people actually walking on the sidewalk in front of them."

Someone get out the videotapes so we can find out once and for all exactly who is the AL. Look for someone almost run over twice.

Anonymous said...

Colorado in January is a damn sight better than Chicago in January!! The sun is out, the skiers are far away and there is scenery. Still, probably crap martinis, but who cares?

There were plenty of sweaty thin people in Anaheim, tourists and librarians. And I was surprised by the relative courtesy of the drivers while I waited at crosswalks. Then again...I'm in Chicago, so just about anything is an improvement.

Wonder if I actually spotted the AL without knowing while I was there.... Hell, she was probably one of the presenters I was growling at being long-winded and short-idea'd, i.e. "academic." Oops. ;-)

Anonymous said...

ALA chooses such locations to find out who is really fit to be in the profession.

I guess some people just can't cut it and need to stay in their comfort zone.

Anonymous said...

One thing about living in a college town is many time bartenders are hired on looks, not any sense of brains or knowledge. I've had the following conversation more than once, but one particular time is cemented in my head.

"What do you want?", says the 17-year old looking gril behind the bar.
"Gin and tonic"
"What's in a gin and tonic?" She says, puzzled.
"Ummm, gin and tonic"
"Yeah, I heard you the first time, what's in it though?"
"The ingredients are gin and tonic water."
"Are you sure?" She looks really confused and turns around to the bartender behind her and goes "Do you know what are in a gin and tonic?"
He gave her the same disbelieving look I had done about two minutes ago. Then said "Gin and tonic"
"You're going to have to show me how to make it."

It turned out ok, but it took the poor thing a couple of tries apparently. I could see the process and see what appeared to be the only competent bartender being swamped with having to train these assorted bimbos and pretty boys they hired. Difficult things, like whiskey on the rocks, and vodka and cranberry juice. I don't know how the place managed to hire someone who was good-looking and actually knew how to perform his job.

Anonymous said...

:( the AL will never come to Perth (australia) as we are apparently incapable of producing a decent bagel. I was in New Zealand when I had my one and only decent bagel, and it is a far cry from the shiny bread we usually get masquerading as bagels. Tragic!

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you all haven't figured out why ALA goes to cold places in the winter and hot, muggy places (anyone remember ALA in Miami? I saw a cockroach roaming through a bagel canister at one alleged restaurant, and puddles of water in the convention center) in the summer. It's because ALA is cheap cheap cheap and its members don't earn enough to be able to afford anything else. We have to get hotels at their neediest in order to get cheaper rates.

SafeLibraries.org said...

Anonymous said, "We have to get hotels at their neediest in order to get cheaper rates."

Let's be fair. It appears the ALA might be trying to best spend the money. Imagine the criticism it would get for booking Miami in winter. This is a case of you can't win either way.

Anonymous said...

The vendors don't want the weather to be too pleasant in case you spend too much time outside instead of in the exhibits hall. When Midwinter was in San Antonio, the vendors actually did complain about the weather being too nice and not enough people in the exhibits.

Anonymous said...

@ 3:23 Anonymous has it right: nobody else in their right minds books conventions on the "summer meetings in sun-baked hotboxes and winter meetings in frozen climes" schedule -- well, except maybe the youth ministry board of my Church -- because we're cheaper than the American Medical Association.

On the other hand, it makes Conference cheaper to attend.

On the third hand, though, it's still not cheap enough for me to get there on my own, and my employing library can't/won't pay for the trip either.

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terri B. said...

Snorting away with laughter here because what you say is TRUE! I live here, well, 5 miles north of Anaheim, and I AVOID the Disneyland area like there is a plague. Too bad I couldn't help you all out with a bit of local info on bars. If you take a bus about 5 miles north of Anaheim (one bus, no transfers, one street, 20 minutes) you run into "bar heaven." Nice bars too, with bartenders who can make a decent drink. Maybe this would have made the sucky location a bit easier to tolerate.

Anonymous said...

Amen, Sister!

The late, beloved Marvin Scilcken once tried to introduce a resolution in Council to avoid hot places in the summer and cold in the winter. I will note that the last (and only) Midwinter in Denver was incredibly pleasant, and there are row, upon row of interesting bars and eating places, plus Tattered Cover Bookstore.

I agree wholeheartedly about the "plastic-nature" of the place. I will contend that it is more walk-able than Chicago. (Ever try to WALK to McCormick Place? I did once, and as a 6 foot+ white male who was not fat, it is a H-I-K-E from the big hotels.

The one good thing was the weather. But it was only 55 when I woke up at home this morning.

Joy Kennedy said...

Well, part of the reason ALA goes to wierd places like Anaheim in the summer is that there aren't too many places that can hold all the meetings librarians like to have. Get three librarians together and they'll form a committee AND set up two sub-committees. So there are only a few places where the masses of librarians, vendors and MEETING ROOMS exit. Midwinter meeting is full of nothing but administrators so they don't need as big a place (administrators form committees also but limit themselves to only one subcommittee--they delegate, thats why they are administrators.)

AL said...

terri b., I might have taken the bus to bar heaven had I known.

Fabulist said...

Having spent quite a bit of time vacationing in the LA area I find the comments about the lack of culture a bit biased. Anaheim is NOT LA it is Orange County. The only thing nice out there is Crystal Cove beach and Balboa Island; which is where all the great restaurants are. Unless you are into Disney *makes a face*

LA area on the other hand has the LA County Museum, The Labret Tar pits (ok they are fun more than anything), The Symphony and theater. The Getty Museums, The Hammer Museum, The districts – Little Tokyo, China Town, The fabric District, the shoe district, jewelry district, the flower district, etc. A 15 minute drive or a short ride on the metro will get you to places like the Huntington Library and botanical garden, the Norton Simon, the various observatories.

Point is there is a LOT more culture there than MOST of the USA.

Anonymous said...

Yikes. Guess Anaheim's not for everyone, but I dug it, had a great time. Admittedly, I'm not much of a drinker, but I liked the convention center, the hotels, Downtown Disney, the lovely palm tree shaded walk down Katella, the food (Morton's was a treat)....

fwiw, I also like sweaty fat people, mouse ears, ice cream, long waits in traffic lights in cities I've never been to, small towns in North Carolina (LOVE small towns in North Carolina).... I rarely eat bagels, so I didn't miss not having them. Hopefully, the next venue will be replete with anorexic people who don't perspire, plenty of opportunities to get liquored up at the hands of barkeeps who know how to make simple mixed drinks, and great public ransportation (the better to avoid honking off the numerous "morons in the cars"). Oh. And no Disney. More urban, less, uh, suburban. And rural is right out. Gotcha.... Anything else?...

Anonymous said...

So, in Anaheim at least, no tourist is thin, and no thin people sweat. Anybody else you'd like to gratuitously insult? How relevant to your ALA experience was the size of the people around you? Did a drop of nasty fat person sweat fall in your precious martini, poisoning you for life? Guess what? We fat people are in the majority now. We'll be trampling sweatily on your rights and rounding you up for fattening camps any day now, so you'd better watch your skinny ass.

soren faust said...
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Dr. McCrill said...

I live in Denver. Don't judge a place until you've been there. It can be very warm in January and it can snow 3 feet. However, we have awesome coffee shops (who know how to make great bagels) and a wide variety of restaurants (assuming they have it at the Colorado Convention Center in downtown Denver). Our LoDo is fantastic! We tend to be a very friendly people and courteous of pedestrians. Our state is high on the list of healthiest people. But if you're going to whine, stay home. We don't tolerate whining very well.

SafeLibraries.org said...

How about having the next convention at Gitmo? The ALA supports the Cuban government's effort to jail independent Cuban librarians by preventing efforts to expose it, claims the Bush administration lies, and at the same time defames American soldiers by claiming they "routinely desecrate korans."

So what better way for the ALA to show support for the Cuban regime and at the same time besmirch the American administration than to hold the next convention at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba? The ACLU might even get the government to fund it fully.

Anonymous said...

You're a whiny snob. I had a blast in Anaheim. The convention center was lovely, the area beautifully landscaped, plenty of good dining options in Downtown Disney and the Garden Walk, weather was beautiful. Almost everything was an easy walk from the hotel. Disneyland was a bonus and it was fun! It's my favoriet Annual location so far.

Anonymous said...

More AL pointless rant. I've been to conferences across the US and other countries in a variety of industries over the past nearly 40 years. Anaheim is one of the least objectionable. The conference center is conveniently located and well kept, the onsite food is better than many venues, the local hotels provide reasonable services, and the shuttle buses ran reasonably well.

If you couldn't find off-site food you liked, it speaks more to your lack of ability to find them than Anaheim's ability to provide them. There are hundreds of dining and drining locations within a 5 square mile radius of the convention center. There are dozens directly serviced (within a couple of walkable blocks) by the shuttlebuses.

Hell, it's only a four day conference. If you want a vacation, take your own time, not your employers.

Perhaps you should have checked with a local librarian? Obviously, Google, Yahoo and MSN plus the online travel sites, a thousand blogs dedicated to travel and the concierge are beyond your sphere of consideration.

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Soren, AL 5:16 says ...I might have taken the bus to bar heaven had I known.

Whose falling for what? AL is a whiner, spectacularly confirmed by the motto. As for who writes AL, who knows? But as for AL, if it whines like a duck...

her-welshness said...

'We fat people are in the majority now'

If I were you I would get yourself down to Fatfighters and buck the trend.

Anonymous said...

You go to conferences to meet with colleges, exchange ideas, find out the latest trends, see how you library fits into the greater world, how you can lend your expertise to help out, and on and on.

It is not about bar hopping, finding the most chichi hangouts, and getting laid.

You want that, go on vacation.

Anonymous said...

Says you.

Anonymous said...

If you are such a wimp, and can't handle a January in Colorado, then just stay home.

We don't want you anyway.

Taupey, the Bush Kangaroo said...

AL would never, ever "get laid." Anon 10:11, that line is more vulgar than 1,000 "f-bombs" or sophomoric pudenda references.

AL said...

So true, Taupey. Teenage boys and those with the mentalities of teenage boys "get laid."

Canadian said...

If you want decent bagels you should come to Montreal. Maybe you could attend the Canadian Library Association Conference which will be held in Montreal next year.

Canadian said...

Plus, Montreal is very walkable. I don't even own a car, nor do many of my colleagues. (And this is not because they don't pay us enough!)

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Canadian said...

soren - I have been here 11 years and I still like it. Stop in at McGill and say hi to all us librarians!

P.S. St-Viateur for Montreal-style bagels.

Elisa said...

I'm going to ALA alternate years. I went last year's annual and it was my 1st--it was a convenient walk from the library. Well, I'm going to Chicago next year

Kristen said...

"You go to conferences to meet with colleges, exchange ideas, find out the latest trends, see how you library fits into the greater world, how you can lend your expertise to help out, and on and on.

It is not about bar hopping, finding the most chichi hangouts, and getting laid.

You want that, go on vacation."

Pfftt. My observation has been that the higher the librarian's rank, the fewer sessions they bother to attend. I skipped the receptions due to jet lag and general reticence, but based on the chatter in the committee meetings, the happy hours were where all the real action happened.

The part that disturbed me the most (this was my first ALA) was how many times I saw grey-haired pastel-capri'd attendees trying to innocently claim they didn't see prices on books etc and assumed they were free. They tended to be lousy shifty-eyed liars too.

Anonymous said...

About Denver for Midwinter, I went to the one there back in the '90s, and it was great! The weather was fine, too. The snow stayed up in the mountains... and I heard that often in the winter when it snows it melts very quickly.

I'm looking forward to going back. Now, Midwinter will be in Boston again in 2010. Last time we just barely missed a huge snowstorm that hit a few days after the conference ended, and it was extremely cold and windy during the conference. But it was enjoyable anyway! I like the strange off-season timing of these conferences -- after being perplexed about them for many years I finally decided to just forget about complaining and enjoy!

However, when Annual is in Chicago I avoid going to McCormick Place whenever possible. The last couple of times I've only had to go there once. Helps a lot! There are many meetings and other events in hotels that are closer to civilization.

datamuse said...

The weather is definitely nicer in Seattle in the summer (although those of you who came to Midwinter got lucky this year), but the Seattle convention center isn't big enough for ALA Annual. I think the size of the conference and the desire to keep prices down are the primary criteria when choosing conference sites.

I'd have liked to go farther afield for food, myself. I found Downtown Disney pretty unappealing, and overpriced to boot--though it was convenient for dinner meetings.

Anonymous said...

For all of ALA's talk about workplace wellness, it seems absurd they selected a place that is so pedestrian unfriendly.

You go to conferences to meet with colleges, exchange ideas, find out the latest trends, see how you library fits into the greater world, how you can lend your expertise to help out, and on and on.

Yeah, I participate, but I certainly do not give up daily exercise. Requiring I do that would be akin to asking most librarians to giving up their cat motif apparel.

It is not about bar hopping, finding the most chichi hangouts, and getting laid.

Actually, for most librarians, it is about restaurants.

Anonymous said...

So true, Taupey. Teenage boys and those with the mentalities of teenage boys "get laid."

I guess we have found out why the annoyed librarian is so annoyed.

So much pent-up sexual rage.

You really do need to find a release.

her-welshness said...

'So much pent-up sexual rage'

Don't think so somehow - the AL is the most desired Librarian of her generation, she leaves all that pent-upness to you, you silly twunt!

Anonymous said...

the AL is the most desired Librarian of her generation

Would that be the generation of lazy lushes who don't want any change?

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stephen Denney said...

I decided not to attend the Anaheim conference for various reasons, one of them being that none of the listed panels seemed interesting to me. Of course, I would prefer all ALA conferences be in San Francisco so I would not have to travel, but can understand the logistics in choosing a place like Anaheim. Earlier this year I went to a Vietnam conference held at the Holiday Inn in Lubbock. It is not the place where you will find a high quality martini, but it was a very enjoyable conference because of the people there and the presentations.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that the AL is back to blogging--I've been worried that she has gotten tired of giving out her pearls of wisdom.

Keep it up, AL!

Your friend,
anonymous

the Cranky Vendor said...

Personally, I found Anaheim to be a temple to Mammon. Downtown Disneyland was walkable, if you like walking around soulless malls.

Kimbre said...

I read that a big issue at the conference was to recruit African American males into our overcrowded profession. Any males are welcome, of course.
-- Kim

Anonymous said...

I read that a big issue at the conference was to recruit African American males into our overcrowded profession.

Good luck with that one, ALA. When the salaries pay as much as those in engineering and IT, they may have a chance.

Anonymous said...

You know who should have been at ALA hawking their wares:

Shoe Link

The perfect shoe to meet the Librarin 2.0's need for a comfortable shoe that can socially network.

Kristen said...

"I read that a big issue at the conference was to recruit African American males into our overcrowded profession. Any males are welcome, of course."

Any politically liberal males, of course.

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I was at ALA too, I live in L.A and Anaheim is definitely not L.A . It's not even in the same county! People that say L.A doesn't have culture definitely haven't been to L.A . There are so many different cultures and elasticities that live in L.A .

Anonymous said...

AL,
I know this is off topic, but I don't want to email you (gotta keep my identity secret too). Looks likes we'll continuing to hearing from the gamey librarians:
American Library Association Receives $1 Million Grant from Verizon Foundation to Study How
Gaming Can Be Used to Improve Problem-Solving and Literacy Skills http://ala.org/ala/pressreleases2008/june2008/verizon08.cfm

Anonymous said...

Here, let's make your link a little more usable:

link

***sigh***

No wonder people look at librarians who say they are on the cutting edge of technology and laugh and laugh.

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

re: Looks likes we'll continuing to hearing from the gamey librarians<<

That's because there is literature from academic and peer-reviewed education sources relating the use of gaming technologies to various aspects of learning including literacy. Try this ERIC search.

Heaven forbid facts should get in the way of a good whine, however. Carry on.

Whybrarian said...

Your description of Anaheim distinctly reminds me of ALA Orlando in 2004, which was really ALA Disney World. I live in Florida and try to avoid the Disney area whenever possible, too. Devoid of soul, nothing but 'tourista hell' is how I describe.

I was so embarrassed that my colleagues had to see that part of Florida and think *that* is what Florida is really like.

Yuck.

Anonymous said...

So AL...did you actually venture IN to the ALA meeting??

Or are you to the point that you have given up an anything good coming form the event, and use it as a perfect Employer paid three day holiday for a vacation on the town where the meeting is in?

And for the Fat people saying they might come over here and sit on the skinny people if we don't pipe down about fat people...

In my ethics course we just read the Mill article and it suggests that the ethis that should be listened to is the one that is in the minority because it often contains truh that is being surpressed.

But otherwise, this ethics course has showed me how the ALA sucked the life out of any hope for the lirbarian field. It all started in 1939 when they passed that bill of rights, which proptly stripped lirbains of the one professional task they have: selecting valueable materials andnot supplying crap materaisl. Yeah, they like to call that selection "censorship" now. How quaint!!

Anyhow, I am glad you had fun.
~Kat

Cincinnati NAMjA said...

Sounds like you had a kick ass time! You should visit more often.

Anonymous said...

Here, let's make your link a little more usable:

link

***sigh***

No wonder people look at librarians who say they are on the cutting edge of technology and laugh and laugh.

1:51 PM


If you can't figure out how to cut and paste, you're the idiot.

Anonymous said...

peer-reviewed education sources

Yes, and we all know how high the bar is in those education peer-reviewed journals. There is plenty of research that points to the contrary.

Anonymous said...

If you can't figure out how to cut and paste, you're the idiot.

Typical ivory tower thinking.

There are the books over there. We put them in the order that we deemed to be best.

This is our card catalog, you had better learn how to use it and don't complain to us about fixing it.

You don't like the way the data is in our records? Tough. YOU want to add tags to our perfect MARC record?

Heresy.

You have to find information the way we want you to find information not how you thing you should be able to.

Kristen said...

"Typical ivory tower thinking.

There are the books over there. We put them in the order that we deemed to be best.

This is our card catalog, you had better learn how to use it and don't complain to us about fixing it.

You don't like the way the data is in our records? Tough. YOU want to add tags to our perfect MARC record?

Heresy.

You have to find information the way we want you to find information not how you thing you should be able to."

Is that you, Tim?

nolajazz said...

Personally, I have only a tinge of sympathy for AL not being able to find a good place to eat. ALA does a dinning guide in American Libraries right before the conference every year and there were dine-around options. Granted the dine-arounds weren't all that impressive and the guide in AmLib was kinda boring. At least they tried. Personally, my favorite was the 2006 Conference dining guide for the French Quarter area, but I'm biased because it was written by my mom.

Anonymous said...

No, it is not Tim.

Just someone who is aware that the library field is going to get passed by because of their schoolmarmish attitude that they do things right and you should do it that way too.

In ten years libraries will be dead, closed stacks of information that is not easily available on the web.

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

There is no way to build a system that is going to be effective for everyone.

But, left up to librarians and all their committees, an effective system for today will come about in 2021.

Barring a minority report that has to be dealt with. Then the date will be 2032.

WWII was won in less than 5 years.

JFK put down the challenge to put a man on the moon in 1961 and by 1969 it was complete.

Librarians will integrate MARC into the web sometime in the next 25 years.

Maybe.

There is still to much parochialism to be effective. Either unite as an effect national/international group or give up.

We could discuss this at the next conference but too many people will be whining about the snow and the lack of chi chi martini bars.

Anonymous said...

re: There is plenty of research that points to the contrary.<<

What, that education-based gaming rots your brain? Not really. But post a query or point the way and I'll take a look. Point is, though, that there is more than enough research showing positive correlations between many kinds of gaming and improved academic achievement, so whining about it here isn't going to stop anyone from continuing to research it. Andy you shouldn't be surprised when grant funding is made available for it.

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
\bvb said...

there is more than enough research showing positive correlations between many kinds of gaming and improved academic achievement

I grew up playing games, graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa, and then went into librarianship.

Wait - maybe I'm not as smart as I thought I was...

Anonymous said...

there is more than enough research showing positive correlations between many kinds of gaming and improved academic achievement

I took a quick look through the ERIC search provided above and didn't see anything supporting this, instead finding a lot of articles that appeared to assume its truth. Could you perhaps suggest a few specific studies that I overlooked?

Anonymous said...

Point is, though, that there is more than enough research showing positive correlations between many kinds of gaming and improved academic achievement, so whining about it here isn't going to stop anyone from continuing to research it. And you shouldn't be surprised when grant funding is made available for it.

You need to read The Dumbest Generation which is not some silly rant of a curmudgeon, but a synthesis of many grant funded reports some which point to the deleterious affects of "gaming". And if you think the fact that some organizations fund studies about gaming and education gives it legitimacy, think again. Look how many other failed education initiatives have been promiscuously funded over the years.

And while all you fools are playing video games, Chinese and Korean students, who don't spend hours playing video games, will continue to outperform us by every academic measure.

Anonymous said...

You are being duped by the military-industrial complex.

The next generation of soldier has to have a lot of gaming skills to be an effective high-tech soldier.

The problem is that kids that spend a lot of time in front of the computer and other video game consoles are from more affluent homes and less likely to join the military.

There is a great need to ensure that the poor and lesser educated kids get a chance to gain the skills they will need to become the baby killers of the 21st century.

Therefore public libraries will have to be the basic training ground for these future grunts.

Anonymous said...

re: Chinese and Korean students, who don't spend hours playing video games, will continue to outperform us by every academic measure.<<

Oh, really? That must explain why online gaming subscribers are projected to be 20M in the US and close to 140M in Asia Pacific by the end of 2009. What do you think all those Korean kids are doing with their 10x-as-fast-as-the-US broadband connections? See KPMG market analysis of the Chines video gaming market

Anonymous said...

That must explain why online gaming subscribers are projected to be 20M in the US and close to 140M in Asia Pacific by the end of 2009.

So, this just goes to show there's a growing middle class in Asia. Not everyone in Asia has the academic chops to endure cram school where this stuff isn't going on.

I know you want to defend gaming to such an extent because you are probably a gamer yourself and can't resist the overarching urge to be evangelical about your lifestyle.

You don't even consider the affects of gaming on one's personal health. Gaming kids=fat kids. Yep, obesity is becoming a problem in Asia, too. And don't give me that line about DDR and fitness. Get real.

This argument has grown tiresome. Don't complain when your health insurance premiums increase along with your taxes to fund an educational system that is failing.

Anonymous said...

Promoting gaming today is like promoting the Boy Scouts back in the 30's; it was the way to get boys ready to fight for god and country.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry for the unfortunate folks who did not have a good experience at ALA. I had a wonderful time, great meetings, lots of good information and a very good time away from the Conference. I sampled Vietnamese, Spanish and other local cuisine. I had no children with me but I went to Disney for one evening since I had never been to Disney Land before, only Disney World. I am from the Washington, DC area so the traffic was nothing and the drivers were, in my opinion, a lot nicer. I suppose it all boils down to your ability to accept the challenges and the opportunities that are before you. It also helps to research where you are going to find out what is available for you. By the way, this was not my first ALA and I hope to be at next year's ALA in Chicago.

Anonymous said...

You need to read The Dumbest Generation which is not some silly rant of a curmudgeon, but a synthesis of many grant funded reports some which point to the deleterious affects of "gaming".

You're conflating two entirely different questions. Does Grand Theft Auto improve reading ability? Probably not, but that's a straw argument.

Can video game technologies be used in an educational setting to improve literacy? Some research seems to suggest it can.

Dumbest Generation is more reflective of the entire genre of the effects of pop culture and technology writ large. It's not a book especially about video gaming. In the final analysis, it is one more to add to the pile of books written over the centuries that complain about youth gone to hell in a handbasket. Cum grano salis.

Anonymous said...

Are people getting laid as these conferences? Honest to pete I miss all the fun. I guess I'm one of those people who will get laid at an ALA conference.

Anonymous said...

Dumbest Generation is more reflective of the entire genre of the effects of pop culture and technology writ large.

Oh, sorry if I didn't provide a brief synopsis of the book before delving into the topic at hand.

BTW, the inclusion of idioms with your justification of video games within an educational setting is amusing: "See I can sound intellectual and simultaneously advocate video games."

In the final analysis, it is one more to add to the pile of books written over the centuries that complain about youth gone to hell in a handbasket.

That is precisely what the book is not. Read it again.

Are people getting laid as these conferences?

Nope. They are all too busy playing Second Sex Life because their first is mostly "hand relief".

Anonymous said...

ewww

getting laid and hand relief

We are librarians.

We don't talk like that.'

We say Fornication (May Subd Geog).

So this year it would be

Fornication ‡z Anaheim

Anonymous said...

Hand relief is another term for masturbation, which is different from fornication. I know, because. . .

Anonymous said...

My bad, I hang my librarian head in shame. I should have included the subject heading

Masturbation ‡z Anaheim ‡v Sad little motel with no wireless and warm martinis

(I believe that is a proper heading, Lord know we only understand LCSH and can't put our own tags on)

Anonymous said...

That is precisely what the book is not. Read it again.

Actually, it is. He starts out by discussing Leno's Jaywalking segment and opines that most of the people who make the cut are young because older people are somehow smarter and not missing the questions. In truth, Jay likes to show young attractive people because that's what sells. Unless they're obvious loons or characters, far fewer older people get a shot at their moment of inglory. The book goes downhill from there.
For counterpoint, read Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today's Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter by S. Johnson or Gee's What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. You might also trudge back through The Tipping Point and refresh your memory on why shows like Sesame Street and Nickolodeon's Blue's Clues work.

Anonymous said...

Masturbation ‡z Anaheim ‡v Sad little motel with no wireless and warm martinis

How about:

Masturbation $z Anaheim (Calif.) $v Solo(s) with organ

or

Masturbation $z Anaheim (Calif.)$v Personal narratives

Anonymous said...

re: I know you want to defend gaming to such an extent because you are probably a gamer yourself and can't resist the overarching urge to be evangelical about your lifestyle.<<

You have no idea just how far off the mark you are, on several counts. Anyway, I'm not "defending gaming," really. I can't stand to play Windows solitaire. Boring and pointless. As an educator, however, I know that gaming technologies and techniques can be used successfully in an education setting and that there is research demonstrating gains in student achievement both in literacy and in development of some kinds of critical thinking skills.

Why the ad hominem?

Anonymous said...

And while all you fools are playing video games, Chinese and Korean students, who don't spend hours playing video games, will continue to outperform us by every academic measure.

Youshould know that the world champions for the Blizzard game StarCraft are all pretty much Korean.

The problem with these gaming societies is that the kids become polarized to a gaming lifestyle that lives, breathers, and drinks getting better at the specific game they play. In short, they are NOT spendign their time on advancing themselves towards a worthy career.

A remarkable part of gaming is that anyone over 20 is considered an ancient and over 24 "over the hill." The best gamers appear to be 16-20, and after that they decline in their skills. I guess the Carpal Tunnel and the job at MicKky D's really catches up.

Kat

Anonymous said...

The problem with these gaming societies is that...they are NOT spendign their time on advancing themselves towards a worthy career.

Ah. That just might explain the popularity of gaming among librarians.

(Replace "gaming society" with "pulp fiction enthusiasts" and I think you're really onto something. It explains my situation, at least.)

SafeLibraries.org said...

This is comment #100. AL gets hundreds of comments, literally, for single blog entries. I am so jealous. Congrats to the AL.

Anonymous said...

The problem with these gaming societies is that the kids become polarized to a gaming lifestyle that lives, breathers, and drinks getting better at the specific game they play.

Oh well, the more gamers, the less competition there will be in many professions. Everything will be dumbed down and if you read one book a month, you will speak and write like a bloody genius compared to everyone else.

Anonymous said...

This is comment #100. AL gets hundreds of comments, literally, for single blog entries. I am so jealous. Congrats to the AL.

The reason the AL gets 100 comments is that the martinis have kicked in and it is really hard to come up with a new topic.

It really is hard to be a curmudgeon in the electronic age.

Anonymous said...

You can tell it is summer.

Academic librarians don't have time to respond to blogs.

They are really really busy.

And those martinis are warming up fiercely.

Leo Klein said...

It seemed you couldn't order anything in Anaheim that didn't come with either melted cheese or bacon.

All I can say is, it'll make sweet-home Chicago look all the better next year. Book your flight today!

Note: our fat people come mouse-ear free.

soren faust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Last one out, please turn off the computers , shut off the copier, turn out the lights, and put the empty gin bottles into the proper recycling bin.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

In the caves
All cats are grey
In the caves
The textures coat my skin
In the death cell
A single note
Rings on and on and on


This could go in my new library poetry blog -- or does one of those exist already?

Minks said...

This could go in my new library poetry blog -- or does one of those exist already?

Maybe I am just lacking in culture,, but a library poetry blog just does not seem all that entertaining. I guess it it was comedy poetry. You know,, with lots of sex and death,, maybe then. =P

lol,, like what I post is not boring (demand curves anyone? Very exciting!)

Anonymous said...

I saw a library cartoon book once that was pretty funny. Example: a picture of a woman sitting at a very tall desk with a REFERENCE sign on it. She peers over the edge down at a chicken standing next to an egg in a nest. The caption says, "Who's first?"

:-) :-)

DirectorWho said...

Going through the posts:
I had to respond to one:

I'm not worried about getting "laid" --

I'm worried about getting "laid off"!!!

Anonymous said...

Minks says

lol,, like what I post is not boring (demand curves anyone? Very exciting!)

I have a minor in economics and always found demand curves sexy but supply curves those are the real important ones!

Oh and thanks to all of you for forcing me to remember basic HTML coding!

annoyed circ clerk said...

I think I love you

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness...they didnt make the martini the way you like it? burn the whole damn city down!

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