Dr. Drew's Infrequent Blog

24 June 2006

ALA Annual Conference/ Part I


Home Repair and Cleaning week is on hold, as I headed out for ALA. As you probably know already, it is being held in New Orleans. The ALA is first major conference being held here after Katrina. It often attracts around 20,000 librarians from around the world. Being in New Orleans, you can see the devastation and real poverty in many places. Of course, economic problems were not new hee, but some areas look like a developing nation. I am happy that ALA decided to stick with ALA. I enjoyed a few minutes of walking around the French Quarter, which is a treat. I am always amazed to think that the federal government wanted to destroy it in the 70s by putting an interstate in the middle of this architectual preserve.

I am staying at the ALA set of dorms at Loyola University. The price was right in order to have a room of my own.

Loyola University New Orleans

It is a nice Jesuit university campus, like a nice private college in Europe or Japan. I enjoyed stopping in the library. The campus is both attractive and quiet, which is unlike most of the hotels. It is a bit of a schlep to get there and back, but I saved about $100 each night. I had hoped to enjoy the lovely St. Charles trolley back and forth, but the tracks have not been repaired since the flood. I can still take the ALA shuttle (free) or the ST CHARLES city bus. The city seems to be rebuilding its public transit system. It is free for riders until the 30th of this month as a way to attract riders again.

I wanted to attend a COA meeting on Friday, but could not make it since my flight was delayed, and the airport shuttle took forever. I did make it to a meeting that trains incoming round table chairs, since I'll be chairing the Library History Round Table after the conference. In the evening I met one of my former professors from Indiana University for a nice seafood dinner. My final activity was celebrating at the reception honoring Loriene Roy's ALA Presidential victory.

With Professor Roy

Professor Roy is a real inspiration to me on so many levels. I am so thrilled that she was elected. Her 'formal' reception was very casual and comfortable, yet also elegant. It was the most diverse gathering I've attended outside of Hawaii, which was great. You could sense the enthusiasm and ideas flowing, since Loriene attracts people who network and actually create change -- rather than griping.

Library history students might be interested in a project that she wants during her presidency. She wants to add a sort of "this day in library history" to the ALA website. She will create a form that people can submit events and explanations. The theme is to celebrate different aspects of librarianship. I will post more details as I hear them.

22 June 2006

Home improvements week continues

Events in Iraq continue to worsen... however closer to home, "Home improvements week" continues. We’ve been talking about selling our house sometime in the future, but the real estate agent who sold us the home encouraged us that summer would be the best time, so we've been busy doing small repairs and cleaning. I hate weeding and am bad at small repairs, but it sometimes feels good to see end product of your work, such as:
Three Bags of Red Mulch

I also am trying to go through all of the papers and books that I've kept stored here. It is hard to weed my personal collection, but space is very limited in Hawaii, so this is a good thing to do.

I am off to the ALA Conference in New Orleans soon. It is surreal to read reports that the National Guard has been called in after the recent murders in the city. I hope an 'invasion' of 20,000 librarians will be better for the economy and less stressful in general. I understand why I imagine that the French Quarter and city will be a shadow of its former glory, but will be hopeful.

ALA is always a bit surreal, but I am excited about several events, such our ALA-SC winning the Student Chapter of the Year Award. Of course, I’m also partial to Library History Round Table programs, including the Research Forum that I am chairing. I am excited and nervous to take over as LHRT Chair after the conference ends.

OK, back to work

Not a lapcat, but a laptop cat

19 June 2006

"Deselecting" the Backyard

The weekend went by so quickly. I am visiting the family bungalow en route to the ALA Conference. It is good to have some downtime with the family before heading to New Orleans.

Jiji and Greko at Home

Summer is not yet here, but it was over 90 F today and humid. It is far from the perfect time to do yardwork, but a vine is threatening to take over the entire backyard. I hate weeds. I'm also trying to go through my papers and books stored here. Historians are such packrats and book collectors (this one at least). Do not expect any more exciting reports for a few days.