Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Coming Soon to a Library Near You

July has traditionally been a pretty quiet month for library programs, and this year seems to be no exception. I'm only doing two presentations this month. One is tomorrow at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Research Advisory Committee meeting here in Columbus. This talk will be a brief history of OCLC, given in the context of the group catalog for transportation libraries. The second will be in Madison on July 26 to the Chief Officers of State Library Agencies (COSLA) Executive Institute.

The flood gates open again in August. Right now, I have 18 presentations in 12 states scheduled between August 11 and November 17. I'm going to be in so many towns and cities that the Postal Service should give me the mail to deliver.

I knew I was in trouble when I was talking to my sister, who is a contract negotiator for the Communications Workers of America, and we fell into an animated discussion about the best airport restaurants around the country. (I'm partial to the Wolfgang Puck Express restaurant in the Denver airport, the only good thing about that airport in my opinion, and Legal Sea Foods in Washington National Airport.) My parents and siblings, who aren't road warriors, were shocked and then amused at the variety of airports we had eaten in and could remember.


Anonymous said...

the denver airport is fantastic!

doesn't the denver airport do everything your team is asking libraries to do? they assess needs and build the right tools (like vertical baggage claim for skis), are unafraid to experiment with new technology (like automated baggage handling) - and eventually to abandon it if it doesn't work....

by putting the airport far enough for the city they are planning for the future - while places like san francisco and boston struggle with traffic congestion and where to build new runways, denver is going to grow into one of the most trafficked ports in the country, without imposing on the growth of the city itself.

plus, the roofline is beautiful and what other airports can you walk for a mile and never be more than 5 minutes from your gate?

but if i'm in the minority of people who love the denver airport, and i think i'm not alone in i'm trying to make libraries more like such places, are we in big trouble?

also, i am partial to the sushi in portland.

George said...

What I dislike about the Denver airport is the endless security line, the distance of the airport from the city, the distance of the car rental facility from the terminal, and the people mover system. (Actually Sky Harbor in Phoenix has a security line that is worse than Denver's, now that I think about it.)

If you're a big fan of urban spawl, I guess the 27 miles from the airport to downtown makes perfect sense.

Also, since the Denver airport is pretty much served exclusively by United Airlines, the airfares from here to there are awful. That's not really the airport's fault, though. If Frontier served Columbus, the fares would drop precipitously.

Julie said...

Having been to Phoenix twice this year, I gotta say that Sky Harbor's new rental car terminal is a disaster.

Rosario said...

The secret to the security lines in Denver is this: Always try to go to the north one (the one by the statue of Jeppesen) or to the one in Terminal A (you can walk to it and then catch the train). Avoid the south security line (the one by the big windows looking toward Pikes Peak). The worst security lines I ever encountered were at the Columbus airport (over 2 hours one time) and SeaTac (a 90 min. wait at 5 a.m.!) BTW, the public art in the baggage area in Denver is cool: gargoyle sitting in a suitcase. Check it out.

George said...

Thanks, Rosario. I'm going to try this tip when I'm in Denver next in September!