Saturday, January 24, 2009

Saturday Saturday and my feet aren't as tough as they used to be

So I had a fun-filled Saturday today. It was a WorldCat-filled day, seems like.
I started out at the WorldCat Local meeting at 9 this morning. Went to the booth, collected literature. Trucked to the Hyatt for the meeting. Very good questions and interest, with all the new features coming out.

One thing it seems like we (OCLC) should be more vocal about is the point of It's primarily a way to connect end-users on the Web with local libraries and library materials. All too often we get caught up in feature/function and loose the big flick of why we're doing this in the first place: library visibility.

It is so fun to see familiar faces and meet new friends. There was talk yesterday at the Symposium of a future contact lens that could be embedded with in theory as someone is walking up to you, their name and how you know them could flash up at you. That would be REALLY helpful at conferences!

But I digress. I did make time for lunch with colleagues at the Corner Bakery, a popular spot with tasty salads and sandwiches. Then back to the convention center for the WorldCat Local meeting. Panic because no catering. Whoops, we didn't order any catering.

It was really heartening during the session to hear OCLC's view of the usability test outcomes from graduate students, undergraduates and public libraries...and then to hear the same comments echoed from librarians at the WorldCat Local session this afternoon. There were speakers from the University of Washington, University of Delaware, University of California and...(?) memory escapes me. But all very very interesting stuff.

The gentleman from UW who spoke about their installation of WorldCat Local was saying you have to trust your users and prepare for success--their ILL fulfillment traffic went up by 300% or some ridiculously large number. In terms of "trust your users"--he had staff not believing that people needed all this information! (They didn't need it before...) And I think the idea was, they weren't finding it before, so they didn't know it existed.

The theme of the day seems to have been, "People expect a Google-like experience, and we want to figure out by hook or by crook to make it happen." This is a great shift from what I have heard at previous conferences. There is no hand-wringing or drama about if Google is going to take over the world. Now it seems most people are simply taking it as fact and trying to figure out what to do about it. And luckily, and WorldCat Local seems to be mentioned as part of the solution, anyway.

So then while the meeting is still going on, I have to hop out to meet with a publisher rep about advertising. Print advertising still attracts eyeballs, but there's not a lot of innovation going on there. Online and event advertising seemed to be a hotter topic, based on the conversation we had. What advertising do you notice most? Notice least?

Then it was back to the hotel to prepare with other groups of people for sessions tomorrow. And I left my scarf in the hotel lobby bar. Shoot. Then a quick hop up to the OCLC Green Suite for the next-to final meeting of the day. A large-group discussion, with food and snacks.

Tomorrow is the OCLC Update Breakfast. There have been so many news releases this week--it will be a wonder if we can cover them all in an hour.

See you at the Blog Salon tomorrow night! 5:30 to 8 pm, Hyatt Regency Centennial I, F/G.

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