Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Out of town

I went to San Antonio over the weekend for ALA mid-winter. Here's are some brief notes on some of what I saw:

  • EX LIBRIS meeting we got good news from about date for starting to use x-server (earlier) and info about training (web based and we can subscribe to it for a year if we want -- I'm not sure what that means exactly but it sounded good.)
  • Sirsi/Dynix meeting was pretty ordinary except I found I like the president of the company better than the last time I attended one of these meetings. Probably because he also likes the idea of a movie-only search space. I still don't know if we can do it now but it helps to know the president of the company is enthused about doing it.
  • Scholarly Stats -- I hope we can get this. It's a service that harvests all your e-use stats (even non-counter compliant ones), cleans them up and puts them in a csv file. If you've ever had to gather use stats you would be falling down at these guy's feet. It's about $30-40 for each platform (FirstSearch, CSA, EBSCOhost, etc.)
  • Web of Science -- got a contact for xml gateway but the guy I spoke with pointed out that this is definitely a dbase we'll need to watch for excessive turn aways.
  • WebFeat ( -- saw presentations by several institutions using it. Some had features I like (e.g., check off box for dbase selection) I made notes so we can borrow liberally.
  • Alamo -- I walked by it every day but never went in. I'd been in several times before and was pretty sure it's about the same--I'm absolutely sure they still haven't put a basement in it.
  • Souvenir shops -- the best ones (if you like odd/quiry artesanal products) are definitely not on the first floor. I bought several more coconut masks (like the one hanging in my office) and a microscope made out of a spark plug, washers and other bits of metal welded together. There is some great self-taught sculpture from scraps around. Had I a few hundred dollars to waste I'd need a trunk to get it all back.
I'm staying with my father now in Wharton (see for the objective outsider look or for a How we see ourselves page.) I got here by bus. The ride was fine except they had no lights for reading after dark and I truly wish the person I sat next to had been a good bit thinner.

On Saturday I leave for Veracruz for an Austin Smiles mission on which I'll be translating. We stay in the Hotel Camino Real. We're at the Red Cross hospital pretty much all day but in the evenings we go out to eat together.

If I get a chance to update things in Mexico I will.

    1 comment:

    Susan said...

    Sounds like you had a busy ACRL. I'm interested in using Docutek to get my e-reserves going. Did you know they were bought by SIRSI Dynix?

    Another aside, I stopped by the Elsevier show and met a nice woman who looked a lot like you Sue. Did you know you have a twin on the dark side? Anyway, she was a marketer and Elsevier had paid for her entire MLS through a UC school.

    They are doing quite the job trying to reach out to librarians, and while I told her I appreciated the effort, I still get a very bad taste in my mouth whenever I think of Elsevier.

    We listed to their Scopus show. I heard a librarian comment as we left, "so do you know anything about Scopus now?"

    It was a slick show but not extremely informative.