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Hello Chicago


It takes a small library of resource materials just to navigate this show.

Greetings.  I’m Dick Kaser, V.P. of Content at Information Today, Inc. and Executive Editor of Computers in Libraries magazine.  I’m here in Chicago with my editorial colleagues, Barb Brynko, Kathy Dempsey and Marydee Ojala for this blog team’s most challenging assignment to date.

As you can see from the sidebar list of archived conference blogs, we’ve been blogging the Online Information show in London, SLA’s annual meeting, and our own Computers in Libraries and Internet Librarian conferences for years.  But our coverage of ALA has always been reserved for our print editions.  One reason being, this show is HUGE . . .

  • Delegates, numbering this year between 10 and 15 thousand, are scattered among no less than 25 hotels many of which also host various conference sessions.
  • Sessions also occur at Chicago’s convention center (McCormick Place), which is 9 miles from the farthest hotel, according to a quick search on Google maps.
  • An advance edition of ALA’s Cognotes (the show daily newspaper) says there are 2400 sessions that will take place over the next 5 days and that there will be as many as 900 exhibitors on the trade show floor.

It would take an army of reporters to actually cover this show in the way that we generally blog out a conference.  But alas, there are just four of us on this tour of duty.

We’ve had to divide in order to have any hope of conquering.

Like Marydee reports in an earlier post, I’ve spent days in the ALA Conference Planner mapping out a plan of attack.  Having covered the show when it was last in Chicago four years ago. I know that you can’t necessarily always get to where you want to be when you want to be there. In fact, the combination of walking vast distances and climbing grand staircases in Chicago’s palatial hotels, sent me home limping in ’05.

This time, I’ve strategically located myself between the Palmer House and Chicago Hilltons, where many of the events I plan to cover will be taking place.  I’ll also be dropping over to McCormick Place from time to time, which is only 2 miles from here.

My coverage is going to focus on public policy issues of concern to the ALA and developments related to information technology and systems for libraries.

Dick Kaser, VP, Content, Information Today, Inc.

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