This years Annual ALA conference was in Washington DC and was a first for me in that this was the first year that I brought my oldest son, Kenny with me on my travels. For Kenny, ALA was an exciting trip. This represented the first time that he has really left Oregon (outside of going to Washington) and was the first time that he’s been on a large airplane.
Before the trip, I had to take our youngest son down to the grandparents (which he enjoyed immensely). Anyway, on the way down, we stopped at the go-carts.
Kenny and I getting ready to start
Nathan and I getting ready to take off.
Kenny loved it. I couldn’t make the car go fast enough. Nathan almost didn’t get to ride because he wanted to sit on my lap and drive and that just wasn’t allowed.
Anyway, I have pictures from the trip, but before I get to the fun, let’s talk about ALA. My ALA trip is nearly always focused on committee responsibilities and time with vendors. Saturday, I spent the better half of the day speaking with vendors that we work with. Innovative Interfaces, Index Data, Marcive, Lexis Nexis, Serials Solutions and OCLC. Generally, these conversations are related to products that we have purchased from these specific vendors. This year, however, because of LibraryFind, many of my conversations with content providers were related to ways in which we could search their content. Ideally, I’d like to see LibraryFind use as few Z39.50 targets as possible, in part, because vendors that provide webservice search interfaces tend to make these interfaces natural language api. This makes building search queries much easier since normalization across different search targets no longer becomes necessary. Also, I’m not a big fan of Z39.50 in general, in part because most implementers provide only the most basic implementation of the protocol. Probably the most useful part of the conversations that I had this year was that most content provides that we work with do provide rest-based API with natural language support. While most don’t advertise these api, I found folks willing to talk about them and provide documentation on their use.
Sunday, I attended LITA’s TER committee and ALCTS Publication committee meetings. Surprisingly, this took up nearly my entire day and probably isn’t of that much interest to those outside of these two committees.
So what about the fun stuff? Well, Kenny and Alyce were able to see lots of stuff while in DC. Kenny got to see the White House, the Washington Monument, the Zoo, the Air and Space Museum at the Mall and the Air and Space Museum near Dulles, the Capital, the Archives, the World Kids Festival, the Museum of Natural Sciences and the Library of Congress. They visited a number of other things, but these were the highlights. All and all, I think he had a great time. Here are a few of the pictures from the trip.
Kenny in front of the Lion’s area at the zoo
Kenny and Alyce in front of the Lion statue at the zoo.
Standing in front of the Capital (I have one with just Alyce from 10 years ago — now I just need to go back and get one with Nathan).
Kenny at the World’s Kids festival
Kenny and I in front of the Lincoln Memorial (this is one of my favorites)
Kenny and I in front of the Enterprise Shuttle
Kenny and Alyce in front of the Enterprise Shuttle
My attempt at an artistic photo at the Botanical Gardens in DC.