Magazine article Information Today

ALA Anaheim: The Transformation

Magazine article Information Today

ALA Anaheim: The Transformation

Article excerpt

The big buzz at the ALA Anaheim 2012 Annual Conference & Exhibition in late June was the return of OCLC's CEO Jay Jordan to the helm. Days before the conference started, OCLC announced that CEO-elect Jack Blount would not be replacing Jordan and that Jordan had put his retirement plans on hold to stay on as CEO until a new replacement was found.

Despite the rumors and speculation, OCLC was mum on the reason for the sudden management change, noting that it was a personnel matter that would remain confidential. Jordan, in good spirits, took his place on the podium at the 2012 OCLC President's Luncheon on June 25, smiled at the filled-to-capacity crowd, and said, "I'm back," before diving into a business-as-usual preview of OCLC's business strategy for the year ahead.

This year's conference, Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves, at the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center, was well-attended and upbeat. (It's difficult not to be when you're so close to Disneyland.) The 2012 turnout was comparable to last year's, with totals set at 20,134 and 20,042, respectively.

A Busy Exhibitor Floor

Exhibitors provided demos and briefings on the rollouts of their latest tools, products, and services or those in the pipeline. Though the offerings are too extensive to include them all in this report, here are some highlights (look for other new rollouts in the Product News section of this issue):

* SAGE Publications offered a look at its new SAGE Knowledge, a state-of-the-art platform with a full range of digital social references for students, researchers, and faculty. It offers cross-searchable SAGE content from more than 2,500 authoritative titles seamlessly.

* Serials Solutions' Jane Burke, senior vice president of strategic initiatives, noted that the ongoing work on Intota, billed as the full web-scale library collection management solution, is moving ahead. The first production version is expected to be released at the end of 2013.

* At a ProQuest breakfast, guest speaker Julian Bond, congressman, civil rights activist, and former chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), shared his insights in "How I Got in the Movement." Bond's presentation coincided with ProQuest's release of the second of six NAACP modules that were made available ahead of schedule. These digital archives are part of ProQuest's History Vault showcasing the American experience.

* Mango Languages introduced its suite of subscription-based language learning modules to fit big library markets: government, public, and academic, all tailored for niche audiences. For example, the government module focuses on specific military content and conversations.

* Kirtas Technologies, Inc. offered a range of tools and products for digitizing at any level, from its LIMB solution (workflow management, image processing, publishing, and metadata capabilities) to its e-Scan AGATE (a self-service scanning kiosk that includes copyright management for libraries and offices).

In Session

The hundreds of sessions, many of which were standing-room-only, kept attendees on the move through the sprawling Anaheim Convention Center, focusing on topics that ranged from linked data to preservation to advocacy to copyright. One noteworthy panel, Keep the Fight Going: Libraries Fight Back, talked about budget cuts at several libraries. …

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