Saturday, June 25, 2005

The ALA Conference in Chicago Begins

The American Library Association Annual Conference has begun, and I attended my first day of meetings. It was a very hot day in Chicago, and the power had been out over night in the convention center, so it was warm inside too at the beginning of the day. The air did soon kick in and I saw people in sweater by day's end.

In the next few days, I will post reports on many of the meetings I attend either here or on the LITA blog. The LITA blog has already posted a list of my technology trends.

I started the day at Changing Technology/Changing Services/Changing Design, a program sponsored by LAMA, the Library Administration and Management Association. You can read this report on the LITA blog, but I do have a few additional comments.

The Queens Public Library must have a lot of public support. It is starting many very ambitious projects, including a really cool children’s library that includes displays from four museums mixed in with the books and other library materials. I also am impressed by the effort the library is making to go out to the unserved, putting mini-branches in many train stations, retail and residential developments, and the museums.

Some of the branch libraries in Queens with RFID (radio-frequency identification in library materials) and self-checkout stations were smaller than my small public library.

I was also struck by how there were no squared corners in any of the furniture shown by the architects Jeffrey Hoover and Elizabeth Martin. Everything was rounded. The idea was that the interior design in the library would flow.

Several speakers mentioned the library as a “third place.” If a person’s home is first, and the library is third, what is second?

Look for my reports on One Book, One Community and Hear Here – Audiobook Trends in Libraries on this site soon.


Lis Riba said...

The second space is supposedly work.
Home, work, hangouts (for lack of a better term).

ricklibrarian said...

Thanks, lis. It is something I should have been able to guess, but as a librarian, I wanted a source.