TLA Journey III: The Conference

April 14, 2007

The past few days have been a bit busy for me, and even busier for Diane, which explains the absence of a posting yesterday. Fortunately, I have a little bit of time to give an overview of my experiences at the Texas Library Association Annual Conference.

On Thursday morning, Diane and I came to the exhibit hall with two laptops for Technology Showcase, where vendors give demos of various products. We brought them in a wheeled suitcase, which the powers-that-be in exhibit halls tend to frown upon. So, to make sure we didn’t go to jail or something, I hefted the suitcase from the entryway of the exhibit hall to the Technology Showcase. I did the same thing today, going to and leaving from the exhibit hall. Apparently, wheeled cases are verboten due to injuries that have occurred. This seems about as silly as the proposal to pass a law banning people from listening to iPods on New York City sidewalks. Besides, anyone could get injured due to errant wheeled suitcases just about anywhere. In fact, I accidentally ran into Diane’s ankle en route to the convention center today. But, I guess that was okay since it happened outside the exhibit hall.

I always like to dress in somewhat formal attire for conferences (suit jacket, tie), but conditions made such a look difficult to maintain. Although San Antonio didn’t get terribly hot during the conference, the humidity became quite acute in the afternoon. The convention center remained cool, but I had to leave for lunch and return to the hotel later in the afternoon. I managed to freshen up and remain dressed decently into the evening on Thursday, but it didn’t work today. The humidity made things feel somewhat hot until at least sundown, but temperatures should drop to the 60s or low 70s tomorrow. The San Antonio area has already gotten storms, which should help. Naturally, I’m more concerned about what has happened back home with tornadoes and hail.

But then, what about the conference itself? Among other activities, including checking in on the Automation and Technology Round Table activities and taking notes for another TLA group meeting, I attended four presentations. I have contemplated some underlying themes, which I hope to discuss in detail in a posting next week. However, the hour is getting late, Diane and I have a meeting to attend at 8 A.M. (on a Saturday morning, of all times), and we need to get out of the hotel by noon. We have pretty well packed, which should reduce the amount of stress in the morning. Nevertheless, there’s still the challenge of synchronizing baggage and car retrieval…

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