Thursday, March 16, 2006

From the Ocean's Edge

There's a world I've always known,
Somewhere far away from home,
At the edge of the ocean,
We can start over again.”
("Edge of the Ocean" - Ivy) [Wikipedia entry web site]

This is definitely on-the-road season for IAG. In fact, no small portion of my time recently has been devoted to travel, arrangements for future travel, and planning for visitors. It’s all good, of course, but I am of late much reminded of both the perils (like when the layover for my in-bound connection through O’Hare was extended from 2 to 14 hours Sunday due to the weather) and rewards of travel.

Delayed flights aside, my time out west was enjoyable and fruitful. I was in the Pacific Northwest last week on OCLC business, and I also had the chance to catch up with colleagues and spend some time with a favorite cousin. The business I can’t share details about just yet, save that the discussion was important, engaging, and libraries and library users will be much the better for this collaboration. Keep your eyes open for news from OCLC in coming weeks.  

I can, however, share my great pleasure at having a chance to visit with my colleague, Stu Weibel, who is temporarily ensconced in Seattle and very much enjoying the place and his extended contact with the University of Washington iSchool. Weather intervened the first night he, I, and several other OCLC colleagues hoped to rendezvous for a dinner, so no Stu and much sitting in traffic later, we dined Italian without him. But on the day following, Stu and I met and together explored the absolutely fabulous Seattle Public Library (see Stu’s blog entry & pictures). I also took a few photos (and Michael Porter took kind notice of one I contributed to the flickr Libraries and Librarians Group – thanks, Michael!). We capped off the evening with an excellent dinner at a local pub, and a stimulating discussion of many things, especially the matter of the use and care of identifiers. Stu has kindly loaned me his copy of Linked by Albert-Laszló Barabási which I am enjoying and finding every bit as readable and stimulating as Stu promised.

The trip also allowed time for a brief, unannounced (OK, well in truth I did call Leslie Dillon in our OCLC Information Center to find Chrystie Hill’s phone number and called Chrystie while in route), and all too brief visit to WebJunction’s offices in Seattle. They received me like I was a long lost relative and even treated me to delicious homemade goodies (yum!). It was great to finally meet so many of the wonderful folks at WebJunction in person. And I’m rather jealous of the marvelous view from their offices. (Very nice – the Gates Foundation offices overlook the same area. And -- not that IAG does recruiting -- but FYI, gentle readers, WJ has jobs open!)

And last, but not least I took some time off to see the sights including two excellent museums, the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame, and the Museum of Flight. All in all, a great trip. My special thanks to Stu Weibel and the WebJunction folks for their kind hospitality. [Oh, and BTW...George, did I mention I’m available to travel to Seattle?]


Alice said...

Hey Eric, sign me up! I'll come, too.

Eric said...

Hello, Alice! OK, George -- that's two of us. If you and Alane go too, we can make this an official IAG-invades-Seattle trip! ;)