Caught My Eye: Accounts from ALA Las Vegas – June 26-July 1, 2014

By Tom Gilson

Summer in Las Vegas is not everyone’s idea of a good time. Nonetheless 18,626 intrepid souls braved the scorching temperatures and oppressive heat of the desert southwest to attend ALA’s annual conference in Sin City. Librarians, publishers, and vendors from throughout the U.S. as well as other countries gathered to attend some 2500 programs and events, discuss issues of common concern, and network with their professional colleagues.

The majority of events were held at the Las Vegas Convention Center a couple of miles from the casinos of the famed “Vegas Strip.” Fortunately, most attendees didn’t seem to mind. After all, those in need of a little diversion could easily find their way to the bright lights of Las Vegas Boulevard. Of course, we realize that a lot of you couldn’t get there at all so we thought we would try to convey a sense of what went on by sharing a few conference related posts and articles that “caught our eye.”

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  • Library Journal’s What Happened in Vegas | ALA 2014 offers a solid  overview of the conference reported from numerous perspectives that seems to coalesce around three themes; an “emphasis on embracing change; an expansive and interactive definition of libraries’ mission; and a focus on embracing technology and making it welcoming to all.” The article also highlights company news and announcements, book and database developments, and a report on ALA Council activities.
  • AL Direct, Annual Conference Wrap-Up, July 2, 2014 lists over 90 reports from American Libraries and CogNotes with links to the full text of the originals.  Conference highlights, ALA News, featured authors, division sessions, awards, tech, and other events are all featured.

  • Matt Enis of Digital Shift provides a useful update of vendor, publisher, and product news in Vendor News Roundup | ALA 2014.   Announcements from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, Boopsie and BiblioCommons and Zola Books get equal billing with news from heavyweights like ProQuest, EBSCOIngram and 3M.  Relevant links to specific information are provided throughout.

  • Anticipatory Discovery and One-Click Server Installs Among LITA Top Tech Trends is another Sin City update from Digital Shift’s Matt Enis. This report focuses on the Library and Information Technology Association’s (LITA) Top Tech Trends panel, held on June 29.  The panel discussion covered issues ranging from evolving discovery solutions to the librarian’s role in helping faculty manage their research data to library use of open hardware systems to accommodating the rapid growth of mobile devices.

  • Sue Polanka shares a number of Library eBook updates from the ALA conference in her blog No Shelf Required.  Sue “was able to speak with a variety of ebook vendors about updates to interfaces, products, and services” and she offers a substantial bullet list of vendors with highlights for each.  Starting with selected updates from the previous 6 months, Sue goes on to list the things she discovered in the exhibit hall from Baker and Taylor, Britannica, Knowledge Unlatched, Odilo, Overdrive, ProQuest, Rosen, 3M, TotalBoox, and Unglue.it.

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Other reports of possible interest include:

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