Tuesday, October 31, 2006

WLA 2006: Hints for the Kalahari

Like Pete wrote, almost everything you need is under one roof--and if you didn't bring it you can buy it here.

However, if you'd rather NOT buy it here, here are some hints:

BYOC--There is good high speed cabled internet access in the rooms, but they don't provide cables so bring your own.

There is wireless access at the convention center and in the hotel lobby, and a couple of internet stations in the halls between the hotel and the convention center.

Coat Hangers -- there are only 8 coathangers in a room, so you might want to bring some--or else pack more sensibly than I did.

If you plan to use the WaterPark (which is a blast, BTW), bring flip-flops or water shoes and some sort of cover-up/shirt, or your own beach towel. It is a fairly long walk from the hotel rooms to the park and you can't take towels from one place to the other. It costs money to rent lockers.

There are refrigerators (empty & usable--not pre-stocked with outrageously expensive liquor) and microwaves in the hotel rooms.

That's all I can think of at the moment...Have a safe drive, see you soon!

WLA 2006: A Happenin' Place

The Kalahari is an amazing place. It's just huge but it's pretty easy to get around. You don't actually have to go outside if you don't want to but the weather today (apart from being really windy) was very nice and I enjoyed a nice stroll around the grounds this afternoon.

The Kalahari staff has been extremely helpful getting conference stuff out of cars and into the building (a special shout-out to Charis who helped us get the auction stuff inside) and everyone's very friendly and accommodating.

So -- if you're not here already, c'mon down!

WLA 2006: Banta winner featured in Magazine

Way to go, Sean Carroll! His book, Endless Forms Most Beautiful: The New Science of Evo Devo, is this year's WLA Banta winner, and he'll be speaking here in the Dells on Thursday. So how cool is it that he happens to be featured in the latest issue of National Geographic?

The 25-page article by Carl Zimmer is called "A Fin is a Limb is a Wing: How Evolution Fashioned its Masterworks," and Carroll is one of several developmental biologists interviewed about the fascinating similarities between the cellular structures of all living organisms - from the tiny fruit fly to human beings. (We all have more in common than anyone ever imagined, Carroll asserts). The article also includes some of Carroll's images, not to mention some pretty amazing photographs.

I was priviliged to serve on the Literary Commitee that ranked Endless Forms Most Beautiful (the title is taken from Darwin's Origin of the Species) the best book by a Wisconsin author in 2005. You really have to read it to appreciate Carroll's amazing insights. Carroll takes a very complex subject (not to mention timely, given recent headlines about embryonic research), and makes it intriguing, funny, even suspenseful. It reads like a good mystery story, which of course evolutionary biology is. We understand his students at UW-Madison love him. He is a professor in the Genetics and Molecular Biology Department, and is known for using lyrics from Jimi Hendrix and The Doors to make his points. He uses them in the book, too.

You can meet Dr. Carroll at 4:00 p.m. Thursday in the Cypress Room, as well as at the Awards Banquet. Come and hear him speak, then read the book. And pick up the November issue of National Geographic while you're at it.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

WLA 2006: The best conference ever

When Joy put a call out for guest bloggers a few weeks ago I jumped at the chance. Sure, I appreciate the opportunity to improve my (very amateur) blogging skills. But mostly I really do think this year's conference will be terrific. So many wonderful speakers, so many presenters sharing their expertise, so many great minds from all over the state coming together to network, exchange handouts, eat great food, and push each other down the waterslides. You really have to hand it to the conference planners; they've put together one exciting shindig in a fun locale, and I'm grateful to be a part of it.

Among the several presenters I can't wait to meet are Sanford Berman and Jessamyn West. I consider Berman, a retired head cataloger, one of our profession's genuine heroes. Most famous for his advocacy of more accurate and inclusive subject headings, he has also spent considerable time combating poverty, senseless violence, sexism, and oppression. One of the articles on his site is called "The People's Librarian." That's a good way to think about him: sort of the Howard Zinn of librarianship - always putting us back in touch with our consciences. His Wednesday afternoon workshop (2 p.m. Aralia Room) is appropriately titled, "What do poor people need & deserve from libraries." His luncheon speech begins at 12:30, Thursday in the A&H Room.

West is behind the wonderful website librarian.net and was co-editor of the mind-blowing book, Revolting Librarians Redux. Her passion, as she puts it, is "mucking about in the intersection of libraries, technology and politics and describing what I find there." She'll talk on tech trends in libraries Friday at 9 a.m. in the Guava Room, and discuss small libraries and the digital divide at 10:30 in Suite 3.

Friday, October 27, 2006

MATS Blogging the 2006 WLA Conference

The MATS blogging team is at it again! Like we did at the WAPL 2006 Conference, 1 regular WLA blogger & 2 3 guest bloggers will be posting their notes about WLA Conference happenings here on the WLA blog.

The bloggers are...
Look for their write-ups & photos of WLA happenings here all this week!

We'll also be linking to presenters' PowerPoint presentations & handouts, posts about the WLA Conference seen on other blogs, and Flickr photos with the tag "WLA2006".

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Marathon County Public Library goes wireless

From today's Wausau Daily Herald: "Wausau library hooks up patrons with free wireless Net." It's not cutting edge (according to Mike Cross from DLTCL, "In early 2006, 101 out of 388 Wisconsin public libraries offered wireless service...of the remaining 287, 76 had plans to add the technology by 2007") but it's nice to see a new library service getting some press. Way to go, MCPL!