Thursday, April 17, 2008

TLA - Thursday April 17

This morning I visited the exhibits. They seem smaller and more geared towards school and public libraries each year and this year was no different. It took about an hour and half to walk the entire floor. That's not really surprising and probably is as it should be since so many school and public libraries cannot afford to fund their librarians' travel to national conferences.

Lunch was the Ebsco Academic Librarians luncheon and it was small too, but well worthwhile because we learned more about Ebsco's new search interface that is to be debuted in June. The session I attended this afternoon was an interesting contrast to the Ebsco lunch. It was advertised as a comparison of "big box" databases to "boutique" databases and two perspectives were presented: that of a boutique database vendor (HW Wilson) and a librarian (Gary Ives of Texas A&M University in College Station). Given the obvious bias of the presented from HW Wilson, the program might have been strengthened by the inclusion of the perspective of a "big box" database vendor. This part of the presentation included a number of poorly veiled jabs at the "big box" database vendors (like Ebsco) which were entirely unsupported. Gary Ives' presentation was a welcome relief in that it contained a great deal of quantitative support for clearly presented conclusions. Gary has submitted a paper on the same topic for publication in The Serials Librarian, a copy of which is available in Texas A&M University's institutional repository at

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