Think what you will about the "biosphere," the "controlled environment" (thanks, Cindy), the Hotel California (thanks to several of you who I hope did manage to check out), or the artifical Disneyland environment, the exhibit hall was a physical delight. Actual aisles! All the booths logically laid out! It was an immense improvement from last year in New York. With the meeting rooms in reasonable proximity from the exhibits (yeah, I know you’re saying, what does she mean by reasonable when I had to hike from a Delta Island room over to Jackson or Washington, but it was still under one climate-controlled roof and you never knew about the outside humidity and, yes, there was a great deal of outside humidity), it was also a vast improvement over Los Angeles the year before New York.
So let me turn my attention to the important stuff: the giveaways. There are two categories of giveaways: the stuff handed out to everybody and the stuff raffled off. Interestingly, the final program listed the latter. There were 15 companies in the "giveways" list, from the American Ceramic Society to Portland Press. Had you been lucky, you could have won a Coach Briefcase (Barnes & Noble), an iPod (Jane’s), or a Legal Seafood Clambake Supreme (New England Journal of Medicine). From touring the exhibit hall, I quickly figured out these weren’t the only raffle opportunities and I’m still wondering how the librarian who got that gift basket with the whisky bottles on to the plane as carryon luggage.
As for the non-raffle items, if this is a leading economic indicator, we’re in for really good times. It wasn’t just a small chocolate candies year. I haven’t seen such expansive giveaways since 1969 — no wait, that was the hotel California theme invading my mind. Seriously, there were clocks, umbrellas, magnets, document holders, frisbees, all kinds of stuff.
What did I win?
I turned in my "homework" to xrefer and to S&P NetAdvantage. The folks at xrefer were nice enough to tell me I got all the answers correct and used the time with me and with a couple of other librarians who were also turning in their homework to do a mini focus group. What did we like and dislike about the interface? Interesting experience as we got into a discussion about what worked and what didn’t.
S&P accepted my homework but didn’t tell me how I did. I still don’t know. What’s my grade, guys? I know I didn’t win anything, but I’d still like to know the answers to the questions…………..