Magazine article American Libraries

Midwinter in Oz

Magazine article American Libraries

Midwinter in Oz

Article excerpt

Have You ever attended some other group's national meeting? It's disorienting, but educational. Recently I was packed off to Graph Expo 89, a national meeting for graphic arts professionals, for some much-needed continuing education in electronic prepress technology.

Arriving at Chicago's cavernous McCormick Place, exhibits hall for ALA's 1990 Annual Conference, I felt immediately at home. It looked just like an ALA conference. Crowds milled around the registration area. People dragging overstuffed bags of exhiibitors' freebies. Beyond registration the exhibits were visible. Just like ALA. Reflexively, I even glanced around for the familiar faces of ALA's boulevardiers-the people who know, intuitively or through study-the best vantage point from which to see and be seen. The spot wasn't hard to find, but the boulevardiers were strangers. This isn't ALA, Toto.

Trying to find my seminar room was a familiar problem, quickly solved. With an hour to kill, I pinned on my name tag and leafed through the program.

Serious disorientation. Finding the list of meetings and speakers required using the index and some perseverance. I counted eight meetingsseminars actually-one of them mineEach was being repeated twice a day for the duration of the conference, This isn't Kansas, either

The great bulk of the program was an exhibits locator, complete with company name, specialty, and regional indexes. With most of my hour remainig, I entered the exhibits.

Profound disorentation. …

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