Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another Incredible Success

I traveled to Cleveland a couple of weeks ago to attend the OLAC/MOUG Conference. Even though I went through my pre-travel jitters (What am I going to pack? How will I find everything? Why don’t I just stay home and sleep in my own bed and stick with my routines?), everything went smoothly and the conference was great.

My plane didn’t land in time for me to take the scheduled tour of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I did, however, manage to attend the OLAC Executive Board meeting (which is open to all members) and learn more about what goes on behind the scenes.

The Conference began on Friday morning with a Continental Breakfast (all of the food was really good) and an opening keynote address by Lynne Howarth of the University of Toronto. Then came the breakout sessions and I headed to listen to Joseph Hinger of St. John’s University talk about Integrating Resources. His presentation was packed, but easily understood and there were handouts with lots of great examples.

The conference hotel was attached to a shopping mall. I had lunch in the food court and ended up sitting at a table with another OLAC attendee. My choice of afternoon breakout was Metadata for Audiovisual Materials and Its Role in Digital Projects by Jenn Riley of Indiana University/Bloomington. The more I learn about the various schemas, the more fascinated I become with them. There are some that I’d never heard of that are used for very specific projects.

Friday evening, we were treated to a reception at the Cleveland Museum of Art where I met some other people from Massachusetts and shared information about colleagues-in-common.

Saturday morning was the time for the poster sessions. People put a lot of work into describing their projects. However, none applied to my job so I didn’t linger. I attended a breakout session on Form/Genre Headings presented by Janis Young of the Library of Congress.

Lunch was the banquet and business meeting. I had heard much of the information at the board meeting, but there was some some new information. The final breakout session was Advanced Sound Recordings with Robert Freeborn from Penn State University. I can say that AV materials have become much more complicated over the years making AV cataloging much more complicated.

The real treats came on Sunday morning beginning with a program on RDA. Speakers were Glenn Patton of OCLC and Heidi Hoerman of the University of South Carolina. Heidi gave an especially provocative talk on her perspective of RDA. After much research she thinks RDA will die a quiet death and AACR will be revised. Next came a panel of presenters ready to answer audience questions and then Janet Swan Hill of the University of Colorado at Boulder summed up her reactions to the conference.

It was a very full two-and-a-half days. Handouts for all sessions are on the OLAC conference site.

And now I’m back at work, thinking about the different ways I’ll use everything I learned.