A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on how I was probably not going to ALA Midwinter due to the high cost of travel to attend two meetings. Well, it looks like I will be going after all. I have been asked to cover the exhibit hall for American Libraries, taking over for Andrew Pace who is moving on to do amazing things at OCLC. Boy is OCLC lucky to have a guy like Andrew. Soon they’ll have collected all of the cool people in our field!
I feel like I’m an odd choice to cover new products and vendor goings on, since I know comparatively little about that world. I’m more focused on social tools and the databases in my subject area. But maybe it’s a good thing. I’ll be looking at this world with fresh eyes; with fewer preconceived notions (well, I’ve got a few). I definitely plan on reading everything Marshall Breeding, Roy Tennant and Andrew Pace have written re:vendors in the past 5 years, so hopefully I won’t go in a totally clueless n00b.
It’s also funny that I’ll be writing this since I never get taken seriously by vendors (although, I swear, I’ve never worn a cat sweater in my life!). They think I look too young to have any power (purchasing or otherwise) and either because of that or because I’m female, they tend to talk down to me about tech stuff. Vendors really want their latest and greatest stuff mentioned in this article, so they will all want a piece of the person writing this. It’ll be fun to bust into that old boys club; bring on the cigars and cognac! 😉
Thanks to editor extraordinaire Leonard Kniffel for the opportunity, and thanks particularly to the amazing Andrew Pace, without whose faith in me, I certainly wouldn’t be doing this. Andrew was really good at covering the vendor happenings without making it all sound dry, and if I can do even half as well as he did, I’ll consider it a triumph. I have to say, I’ll miss having his work next to mine in the magazine.
My flight is booked. I still don’t have a hotel room, though I’m on the pending list through ALA (has anyone gone on there before? What are the odds I’ll actually get a room this way?). This will be my very first Midwinter, and I’m definitely excited! I’ll be pretty busy with the exhibits and my meetings, but is there anything I absolutely shouldn’t miss this time around?
John Blyberg is another one to read. But you knew that.
I’d like to remove my name from the same sentence as Marshall and Andrew in this context, as they know more about the business side of things on a bad day than I’ve ever known. I speak from a lofty peak of ignorance on that score. You’ll do great, Meredith, but I wouldn’t expect a lot of cigars and cognac. My guess is that they must have used it all up on Marshall and Andrew. At least I’ve never seen such. 😉
I don’t know what days you will be there, but I will have a half empty double room Saturday and Sunday night. Let me know if you want it!
What no three martini lunches Roy? It’s probably because they know you’re incorruptible. Me? I can easily be corrupted. 😉
While Andrew and Marshall are amazing in how the keep up and cover the news stuff, I really enjoy your commentary (and John Blyberg’s).
Hey Mary, thanks for the offer!
I’ll be at MW Friday – Monday, but I’ll let you know if something changes.
Make sure you come to the Blog Salon! I keep waiting for the folks at the IAG blog to post details, but I think it is normally on Saturday or Sunday night.
I just booked a room at the Best Western City Center (it is near the Rodin Museum and about a mile from the Convention Center). It is my back up plan in case I don’t get a room as I too am on the waiting list. I just checked and they still have rooms for all 4 nights you will be there (at $139 per night).
Here is the link:
You can always book it and cancel if something better comes up.
Hope this helps,
You will get a room….but maybe at a further away hotel. In my early ALA days (i.e. pre-online registration), I was often on a waiting list, and always got a room. The better news is that if this is your regular gig, for Annual you will be on the VIP list and will most likely get your preferred hotel. (Wait, “preferred hotel” and Anaheim???)
Hope to see you there!
Pardon an ignorant’s question, but does Amer.Lib. now pick up some or all of the travel tab? I did read your previous post, so when this one popped in my aggregator, got curious. How does that work when you get asked to do a writing gig?
Best, and keep on blogging.
JanieH, the OCLC Blog Salon will be at its usual day and time, Sunday evening, 5:30-8pm. I’m sure more details will be coming shortly.
Nice. For better or for worse, telling the vendors you are writing about it for American Libraries should help you get taken seriously.
For what it’s worth, even I have trouble getting taken seriously by vendor salespeople–I don’t think they take anyone seriously. I generally need to barage them with technical questions to prove I know what I’m talking about, at which point the salesperson realizes they need to hand me off to someone who actually can understand what I’m talking about. 🙂
But I have no doubt the problem is even worse for women.
The offer still stands – if you want our guest room for the cost of a train ticket – you’re welcome to it.
Angel, I think every assignment and publication differs, but in this case, yes, I will not be paying for all of my expenses for Midwinter as I would have had to otherwise.
What you can make on publications (if anything) really differs widely depending on the publication.
Oh bummer! It’s too bad the OCLC Blogger Salon is going to be Sunday evening, since the Jim Rettig Presidential Advisory committee is meeting that evening and includes a bunch of bloggers. Not that I’m saying you should change it on our account. 😉 Hopefully I’ll get to see all of you at other times.
I was also listed on the hotel pending list. I went on the list around the end of October. As of last week I had yet to hear anything so I sent ALA an e-mail. Within a couple of days I had my confirmation for a hotel room sent to me. I’m not sure if my sending an e-mail had anything to do with the sudden confirmation in my in box or not…
Definitely want to see pictures of you with the cigars and cognac! Know what you mean about that old boys club, young and female can be a double whammy in that setting. Hopefully better than it used to be? Have fun with it. You’ll do great at knocking down some stereotypes. Looking forward to your report.