Saturday, January 16, 2010

ALA Midwinters Past


To commemorate the ALA Midwinter Conference in Boston this weekend, we took a look through our databases to see how library journals have covered the event in the past.

An article cited in ERIC reminds us that in 1981 the technologies under discussion were
"microcomputers, videodiscs, and other forms of the newer technologies in school library media centers."
Twenty years later, Midwinter 2001 began to address an issue now familiar to librarians: how to position libraries as the information providers of choice when the Internet appears to offer so much. According to the symposium "Building the Virtual Reference Desk in a 24/7 World,"
"libraries must adapt traditional strengths of acquiring, describing, and serving information to an environment that is not bound by time or physical place, the virtual library without walls."
Now, in 2010, we can see that libraries and companies in the library sector have responded to this challenge with enthusiasm and inventiveness. Library patrons can now text a librarian, and will soon be able to tweet a librarian when they have a query.

Our own services have expanded to include a search widget that librarians and patrons can embed in their own Facebook pages, bringing the social networking and research worlds even closer together.

So why not make this Midwinter doubly social and twice as networked? If you don't already have a Twitter account, sign up for one now and follow conference news at #alamw10.

You can even follow us at HWWilsonCo.

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