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Viewing Blog: It's All Good, Most Recent at Top
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A blog from five OCLC Online Computer Library Center staff about all things present and future that impact libraries and library users.
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26. Register now for the WorldCat Mashathon

If you're at all interested in Web Services or library-related APIs, the upcoming WorldCat Mashathon in Seattle is the place for you.

To be held on Thursday and Friday, Nov. 5-6, the Mashathon offers a place for library developers (and non-developers who simply want to learn more) to get together and create some cool stuff. In other words, if you're curious about Web Services, APIs or how to create a mash-up, this is a great opportunity for fun, learning and collaboration. Here's a quick run-down of the details:

WorldCat Mashathon Seattle
Sponsored by the OCLC Developer Network and the University Libraries of the University of Washington.
Thursday-Friday, Nov. 5-6, 2009
Odegaard Undergraduate Library, University of Washington campus
Register now

You bring your laptop and ideas, and we'll take care of everything else.
There's a US$ 30 registration fee, but there may be assistance if that's the only thing keeping you from mashing...See you there!

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27. LITA 2009, very quick thoughts – (Better late than never)

The LITA forum earlier this month was one of the best conferences I have ever attended for thought provoking presentations and terrific conversations between sessions and over meals. There were many presentations worthy of speaking about but I have pulled out two here which can be linked to for more information.

First is Kenning Arlitsch and Kristin Antelman on The Future of Libraries is IT (and some people just don’t get IT). They surveyed 240 future library leaders with 72% responding. At a very high level summary they found that these librarians prefer more flexible and externally focused culture. Those interviewed often felt thwarted by current organizational cultures in their academic libraries. The entire presentation is here.

Another very interesting lightening talk was by Jim Muir. He showed a new service he created called Carmen Library Link. Carmen is OSU's course management system. Library Link is a web service Jim created that allows librarians to easily create resource guides which are then linked to from specific courses. He plans to make this open source – more here

If the LITA forum continues to be this good more librarians need to add it to their must attend list.

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28. More linked data

A couple weeks ago I blogged on how cool linked data is for re-use in Web sites and apps. Well one of my colleagues at OCLC has come out with another linked data service worth checking out. It is based on VIAF (Virtual International Authority File) and can help you find people's names as they are rendered in other languages. But rather than explain it all I'll just let you read Thom's explanation here.

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29. Registrations now open for November events

We've got some great events lined up for November, that registrations have just opened up for. Here are two that have recently crossed (or emanated from) my desk:

WorldCat Mashathon Seattle
Odegaard Undergraduate Library in Seattle, Washington
Thursday-Friday, November 5-6, 2009
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
University of Washington

Join fellow developers for the next two-day WorldCat Mashathon. The Seattle Mashathon will follow the same format as previous events in Amsterdam and New York. Participants will spend the two days brainstorming and coding mash-ups with Web services to take advantage of all that WorldCat, the world’s largest and most comprehensive bibliographic database, has to offer. Developers from the library community and beyond are encouraged to attend.

Why attend the WorldCat Mashathon?

*Brainstorm potential apps for the WorldCat Search API, our bibliographic grouping services and other OCLC Web services.
*Get a preview of the new WorldCat Basic API.
*Gain development access to 1.4 billion items from more than 10,000 libraries worldwide.
*Integrate these resources with many others to create innovative new services.
*Meet fellow developers across the information industry.
*Share your creative vision and be a part of the next wave of online library development.

Register now
for the Mashathon

OCLC Digital Forum East
: Convergence: Where Metadata and Access Meet for Digital Discovery and Delivery
Arlington Public Library in Arlington, Virginia
Thursday, November 5, 2009
8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Arlington Public Library, Central Library

For the first time, OCLC will bring this popular event to the East Coast. Experts from the museum, archival and library communities will discuss current projects and initiatives that explore metadata creation for digital discovery and delivery. Among the distinguished speakers are:

*Dr. Youngok Choi, Assistant Professor, School of Library and Information Science, The Catholic University of America
*Susan Chun, Principal, Cultural Heritage Consulting; Founder and Project Lead at Steve.Museum
*Dr. Jennifer Goldbeck, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland, College of Information Studies
*Taylor Surface, Director, Digital Content Management Services, OCLC
*Kate Thiemer, author of ArchivesNext blog, creator and manager of the "Best Archives on the Web," "Movers and Shakers in Archives" awards, as well as the "Archives 2.0" wiki

The Forum is designed to offer an intimate meeting setting where participants can share knowledge and create networks with other organizations. Join us for some small group discussion and networking with your peers. This is an ideal educational opportunity for librarians, archivists and museum staff who are charged with creating digital access to collections.

Register now for the Digital Forum East


I saw all the tweets coming through about Digital Forum West--so East will not disappoint, I am sure. And what can I say about the Mashathon? I am totally biased, but it's a great way to immerse yourself with structured data and imagine what cool things you can do with it, for two days.

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30. Why linked data is cool

I recently spent 30 minutes with one of my colleagues, Michael Panzer, learning about the joys of linked data and why it is so cool. He has created a linked data proto-type for Dewey (http://dewey.info ) that is now publicly available for re-use. Michael told me the three rules for linked data which I’ll roughly paraphrase as:

1. Use URIs for everything
2. Every URI gives a useful description of the object
3. In the description provide more links to other useful stuff

I must say I got pretty excited from my layman’s low level technical view of the mashability of this type of data service. If like me you are new to linked data I would explain it simply as:

· You have a data element that is unambiguous, such as Dewey number 641 and you know this number is indeed a Dewey classification number.
· You know the site where someone has created a linked data service that will give you additional information about that number
· You can now programmatically create the URL from your piece of data that will retrieve additional information about the data object which you can re-use in your own service.

Here is one example of a URL for Dewey 641: http://dewey.info/class/641/about. The 641 was data in your system and the rest of the URL was created by your program.

Note that this actually returns you what both 640 and 641 are classifications for: Home & family management and Food & drink respectively. But what is even nicer is it returns that information in nine languages appropriately tagged so you can re-use it in any of those languages. Another nice feature is while the machine sees the raw data a human can see HTML.

Pretty nifty service for easily beefing up your own data with further information. Michael has also blogged about this new service at: http://tiny.cc/qu4UV

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31. Keeping Your Head...

Today George and I presented "Keeping Your Head While Serving the Community" at the Association for Small and Rural Libraries Conference in Gatlinburg, TN. Play our slides if you'd like, though they may lose some context without the audio.

This conference has been a big boost for my spirits. I've been serving on the ARSL board since February as an ex-officio member from WebJunction, and even that didn't prepare me for this wonderful conference. I learned that Kansas librarians arrived by bus, having driven the 16 hours to Gatlinburg from their home state (I'm sure some of them traveled longer). Further, I have to say, Kansas really represented the social networking scene by being the biggest contributors to the #ARSL2009 hash tag! I forgot to add the tag most of the time I was there, so, that was sort of lame of me, but Go Kansas!

It was also really good for me to have the opportunity to present with George; an honor. I think it's fair to say that I was a little bit slammed with work-related things before this conference and so I didn't have the time to collaborate as much as I would have liked before the presentation. But I thought our content went together very well and I really enjoyed doing the presentation overall. If you by chance saw us, please tell me what you thought of our talk (a dose of my own "evaluation" medicine, so to speak ... so that I too can iterate!).

My favorite presentation of the day introduced me to Give Em the Pickle a customer service slogan from Mr. Farrell (of Farrell's restaurants -- it may look totally cheesy, but this guy is hilarous and has great advice for serving our patrons well). My favorite interactive session of the day was from the State Library of North Carolina on "getting your community back to work". I have more to say about that, but it will have to wait for another day...

Finally, I had amazing conversations with colleagues all weekend either working in small and rural libraries, or working in state libraries to support small and rural libraries. It has been too long since I've been out and about. Cindi Hickey, thank you for giving me the encouragement I needed about the presentation! I tell ya, it really helps me to remember why we do the things we do back at the office.

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32. Plans for new WorldCat Basic API announced

The WorldCat Search API has been enhanced, so that now library developers can build apps that show only their library's results. I know from talking with the product manager and being at the Hackathon and Mashathon that LOTS of people have been eager to see this feature go in. Read all about it over on the Developer Network blog.

The BIG news is that there is a new WorldCat API coming, called the WorldCat Basic API. One awesome thing about it, is that it will be accessible and available to anyone and everyone for noncommercial use.

Did you read that right?
Everyone will have the chance to include library results in their apps? Anyone? Even me?
Yes, I am pleased to report that WorldCat API access is becoming more like the Hard Rock Cafe: Love all, Serve all.

I'll let you know when the WorldCat Basic API is available. For now, if they haven't already requested it, have your developers request a WorldCat Search API key if you're a qualifying library.

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33. Introducing...the 2010 Jordan IFLA/OCLC Fellows

Drum roll, please...

It's my pleasure to introduce the incoming class of Jay Jordan IFLA/OCLC Early Career Development Fellows. (Long title, great program.)

The 2010 Class includes:

· Miss Sasekea Harris, Librarian, University of the West Indies, St. Andrew, Jamaica
· Mr. Mahmoud Khalifa, Cataloger Librarian, Library of Congress, Cairo Office, Cairo, Egypt
· Mr. Elchin Mammadov, Senior Information Specialist, Baku American Center, Baku, Azerbaijan
· Ms. Catherine Muriuki, University Librarian, Pan Africa Christian University, Nairobi, Kenya
· Miss Sidra Shan, Assistant Librarian, International Islamic University Islamabad, Islamabad, Pakistan
· Miss Shao Yan, Group Leader, National Library of China, Beijing, China

This class will bring to 50 the total number of Fellows we've hosted in the past 10 years.

The information and application for the 2011 class are already in place. The deadline is February 28, 2010.

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34. SXSW panel picker

Pick OCLC's panel for SXSWMatt posted about this already, but I wanted to point out to you RSS/text-only readers that we have a snazzy SXSW Panel Picker icon now, for a limited time only.

The proposed panel title is "Discovery, Identity and Rights: Three Deep Web Problems," but Matt needs you to go in and approve the proposal so SXSW knows what a great presentation and discussion this panel would be. The proposal page has more details--but for anyone who's ever been frustrated with awesome content your library has, that no one seems to find or know about (because of licensing restrictions, no share policies, etc.), this session is for you.

And especially even if you're not going to SXSW yourself, you are STILL encouraged to make your voice heard. SXSW encourages it. So let's make our collective library voice heard to this very Web-savvy audience. Go to http://bit.ly/vuPu5 and pick the thumbs-up sign. You'll be asked to register, but it's a very simple process.

The selection process closes on Friday, Sept. 4, so take action now to help raise the visibility of online library content to a wider audience.

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35. Are you doing something "cutting edge?"

For Immediate Release
June 29, 2009

The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) is soliciting nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology.

“We want to showcase libraries that are serving their communities with novel and innovative methods and provide the library community with some successful models for delivering quality library service in new ways,” said Vivian Pisano, Chair of OITP’s America’s Libraries for the 21st Century Subcommittee.

If you wish to submit a nomination, please complete this form and send it to the American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy, 1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW, 1st Floor, Washington, D.C. 20009 or by e-mail to [email protected] by September 1, 2009. Further details about the nomination process may be found here.

The America’s Libraries for the 21st Century Subcommittee will review all nominations and conduct selected interviews or site visits to identify those libraries that are truly offering a best practice or most innovative service. Libraries or library service areas selected will be publicized via the OITP Web site, highlighted through ALA publications, and featured in a program at the ALA Annual Conference in 2010.

E-mail submissions to [email protected].

For questions, contact:

Vivian Pisano, Chief of Information Technology
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
[email protected]

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36. South by South West Conference panels

For those of you thinking of attending the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference this coming March you may be interested in a panel proposal I have submitted for the conference. Our intent is to delve into the issues surrounding authentication and access to deep Web content and sustainable business models for this problem. If the panel sounds interesting you have the chance to vote for its inclusion in the conference. It does require you to create an account to vote so they can avoid old adage “vote early and vote often.”

There is also another interesting proposal put forth by Cecily Walker of Vancouver Public library titled “Can I Reserve This Book With My iPhone?”

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37. Time for a New Mindset

One of my favorite ways to start a presentation is with the Beloit College Mindset List, which "provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college," according to the web site.

The list for the incoming class of 2013 (!) has just been published.

Read. Enjoy. Feel old...

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I’m just back from the 2009 Information Delivery Services (IDS, Tweets on conference) Conference in Oswego, NY and as always came away with a great deal to think about. This group started with the SUNY 4 year colleges with leadership from SUNY Geneseo to improve resource sharing workflows and turn-around times. This year’s conference showed the group has grown both in membership and in scope of building collaboration between libraries in the project.

During the keynote by Genie Powell from Atlas systems, she made a statement that I had to write down to mull over, “community trumps technology.” Most interesting -- the examples Genie used were from outside the library space and in the social space. The point she eloquently drove home was that technology is not what binds people together but rather commitment to a common cause and desired outcomes.

So much of my time is spent working on products, services and technology it was a refreshing point of view to be reminded that these are simply tools to allow libraries to achieve their individual and collective goals. The real success of libraries depends on groups like IDS where libraries form a trusted community, agree to break down barriers to cooperation and take mutual risks to achieve a stronger service to their constituencies.

I look forward to more opportunities like this one to share the cool things that are happening in libraries today.

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39. Welcome to IAG, Matt Goldner

It's my pleasure to welcome Matt Goldner as the newest member of the It's All Good team. In his new role as Product and Technology Advocate for OCLC, Matt will be on the road quite a bit visiting libraries to see what things are happening in the community. His most recent venture took him to New York to a resource sharing group, but I'll let him tell his story himself, in the next post.

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40. Applications for 2010 OCLC Minority Librarian Fellowship

Call for Applications for the 2010 OCLC Minority Librarian Fellowship Program

Application deadline: September 8, 2009

OCLC has announced the expansion and increased support of the OCLC Minority Librarian Fellowship program designed to provide a unique opportunity for aspiring library professionals from historically under-represented groups.

OCLC’s Minority Librarian Fellowship offers an opportunity unlike any other. As the world’s leading library cooperative, OCLC offers global exposure through its enterprise-wide product portfolios and operations. OCLC Minority Librarian Fellows will spend time in an assigned host unit, such as Metadata Contract Services or Question Point, working on content-specific projects such as cataloging or cooperative reference services. In addition, the Minority Librarian Fellows will spend time in the Global and Regional Councils division, with an orientation to OCLC and the OCLC member community, participation in OCLC governance meetings, and opportunities for shared learning experiences with many library and information professionals. Each Fellow will have a unique and specifically tailored experience.

More information is available online here.

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41. Webinars on how to get stimulus funds

This crossed my desk this morning, and I thought I'd share it with IAG readers.

ARRA Federal Grant Application Information at www.Grants.Gov

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has announced a new feature at www.Grants.Gov to help users find and apply for Stimulus Bill (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act [ARRA]) funding opportunities. The website contains information about finding and applying for all federal grant programs. The launch of this Recovery Act feature on the homepage of Grants.Gov will direct users to ARRA opportunities, other ARRA resources, upcoming webinars and links to www.whitehouse.gov/recovery and www.recovery.gov.

According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “Grants.Gov is the single government-wide source for information about grant programs across the federal government, and many agencies and departments across government are working together to bring this information to the public. Now we are making it easier for individuals to find critical and time sensitive Recovery Act grants from all over government on the Grants.Gov page with new technical improvements to the site and an aggressive outreach campaign to the public.”

HHS will host on a webinar series targeted towards potential grant applicants on the following dates: Thursday, Aug. 13; Tuesday, Aug. 18; and Thursday, Aug. 20. Webinar topics include “Introduction to Grants.Gov and the Recovery Act,” “Finding Recovery Act Opportunities” and “Registration to Submit Recovery Act Opportunities.” Each session will include time for questions and answers. The webinars will be recorded and made available on Grants.Gov. To register, go to the Recovery Act feature on the homepage of Grants.Gov.

The website is a cross-agency site and has information about more than 1,000 available grant programs involving all 26 federal grant-making agencies, and HHS is the managing partner of website. All these agencies together award more than $500 billion in grant funds annually.

For more information, visit www.grants.gov, www.whitehouse.gov/recovery and www.recovery.gov.

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42. CLiC Webinars

The nice folks at Colorado Library Consortium will be hosting two "Lunch Lessons with CLiC" webinars featuring the Colorado State Library's Sharon Morris and me. The two half-hour programs, on September 1 and 2 at noon Mountain time (that's 2 pm Eastern, 1 pm Central, and 11 am Pacific for the time zone challenged), will be distillations of the programs I did in Colorado back in February, March, and April, focusing on the From Awareness to Funding report.

Registration for the programs is open now, free of charge, and you don't need to live in Colorado to participate.

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43. Retail Grumpiness, Wholesale Unhappiness

John Petric is a music critic for one of Columbus's alternative newspapers, The Other Paper. He also apparently has spent too much time working in retail, primarily in a record store (shades of the movie High Fidelity). In his rant in last Thursday's edition of the paper, he takes off on his customers. At first I was amused, then I was dismayed how much his caterwauling reminded me of the way we talk about library users.

Bottom line: if your store is set up to make your users feel stupid, and if you use your own jargon instead of speaking their language, don't be surprised if they don't come back.

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44. Credit Where It's Due

If you are applying cutting-edge technology of which you are particularly proud, here's an opportunity to show off what you're doing. No cash seems to be involved, but the bragging rights could help lift staff morale!

For Immediate Release
June 29, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) is soliciting nominations for best library practices using cutting-edge technology.

“We want to showcase libraries that are serving their communities with novel and innovative methods and provide the library community with some successful models for delivering quality library service in new ways,” said Vivian Pisano, Chair of OITP’s America’s Libraries for the 21st Century Subcommittee.

Nominations should be sent to the American Library Association, Office for Information Technology Policy, 1615 New Hampshire Avenue NW, 1st Floor, Washington, D.C. 20009 by September 1, 2009. Details about the nomination process and an online submission form are available on the OITP Web site.

The America’s Libraries for the 21st Century Subcommittee will review all nominations and conduct selected interviews or site visits to identify those libraries that are truly offering a best practice or most innovative service. Libraries or library service areas selected will be publicized via the OITP Web site, highlighted through ALA publications, and featured in a program at the ALA Annual Conference in 2010.

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45. Last Call for Support Staff Institute

Registration closes soon for the Ohio Library Support Staff Institute, coming up August 2-4 at Denison University in beautiful Granville, Ohio. New speakers and programs have been added, but you need to act fast to take advantage of one of the best bargains in library continuing education.

Today (Wednesday, July 15) is the published deadline, but I have it on good authority that if you get your registration into the Institute a day or two late, you'll still be welcome!

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46. New venture

As some IAG readers may know, as of July 1 I took on reduced responsibilities at OCLC in order to develop a consulting practice in library strategy, implementation, staff development, and governance.

The first fruit of that new practice is georgeandjoan.com, a joint venture with Joan Frye Williams.

Please check out our site, and leave some comments there!

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47. OCLC Blog Salon location updated

News flash: We've been upgraded from the Hilton Boulevard Room C to Boulevard Room AB. Spread the word. And if you're not attending ALA, we'll post lots of photos and videos after that fact. The Shanachies will definitely be creating some memories.

Facebook event link.

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48. OCLC Sympsium on Leadership Beyond the Recession

Cathy De Rosa kicks off the OCLC Symposium on maintaining leadership and thinking about how to deliver great customer service.

People are thinking differently about their choices today--no longer trading up but trading off. Libraries have the opportunity to differentiate.

The future can't simply be "more of the same."

Joseph Michelli
How do we drive a change experience with sustainability? (If we increase our foot traffic, we have to increase the funding.)
When Fish Fly
The New Gold Standard
The Starbucks Experience

Example from the Pike Place Fish Market: if you approach it only as a transactional business, you will lose. The first act of love is to listen: Let's treat people who come up to the Fish Stand as being World Famous. (An experiential brand was born.)
They focused only on creating the experience that the customer was really something special. (They stopped worrying about selling fish.) The product is exactly the same as it was before...

It's not about being interesting, it's being interested in people. The relevance goes up. It's not about entertaining people, it's about being relevant.

Experiential Brand Statements:
Ritz-Carleton Hotels. "Create the home of a loving parent." Things magically pop-up and show up. Every employee from the first day is told that this is the brand experience. Everyone on staff is given $2,000 per day to increase people's experience. They put a process in to deliver this experience.

Starbucks. "Create a third place--the living room of the community."

What We Know from Consumer Behavior
*Even in difficult times 50% of consumers will pay more for a better experience. --2009 Harris Interactive
*50% of customers leave businesses because of bad experiences.--Accenture
*Companies ...successful in creating both functional and emotional bonding with customers are [much more successful].

Can we build experiences that reinforce the library as a transformative place?

We have to live the brand on the inside first. For employees--this is a place for you to personally transform and for you to help others. (Example of employee experience in a production only model--Finnish Tax man died in his office. No one knew for 2 days.)

Ritz-Carleton. Selection process for employees (not hiring--being selected, we're going to listen to you.) Day 21 check on employees. Day 365 birthday celebration of staff being with them. This is a designed touchpoint map.

What experiences can we drive to help make it clear: this place is where you go to have life-changing experiences.

Designing Different Experiences Based on Actual Customer value.
RBC Bank rates each of its 2 million customers. High value customers get special treatment. Customer attrition is down 50% in the last 5 years. Unprofitable customers down by 6%, too.

Questions to ponder:
Is your brand promise experiential? Does it reflect transformation? Infrastructure? Necessity? the future? ROI?

Have you created staff, user, politician, academic leadership, and community experience touchpoint maps?

Can your staff articulate an experience--or a transaction?

**It's all about Service.**
Service is a flawless product, Delivered exactly as a member wants, in an environment of caring.

Create an experience so people can't resist the urge to pull the lever for "Yes."

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49. Getting ready for the OCLC Symposium

We're getting ready for the OCLC Symposium here in Chicago at the Hilton Grand Ballroom. The presentation is ready, movies queued and backups made. I'll be blogging/tweeting as much as I can, although there's no internet in the ballroom. (Hilton FAIL)

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50. Chicago!!


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