Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Wednesday in LA

24 hours from now I'll be home. I can't wait. I've enjoyed ALA but it is definitely time to go home. Today will be spent on a 7 hour guided tour of LA so that should be a hoot. Then it is on to LAX and an overnight trip to Newark on a full plane. I hope I can get some sleep. We get into Newark at 6 in the morning East Coast time and then I have a layover before my flight to New Hampshire. I just checked on my seats and I hadn't realized that it is a smallish turbo prop to NH. I'd rather be in a larger plane but if it gets me home, I'm all for it. Can't wait to get back on EST! But I do have a dentist appointment tomorrow. I hadn't thought too much about that when I made the reservations since the appt is on July 3 and I'm going home on July 2. Well, I won't be home til the 3rd! So I have about 2 hours from the time my plane is scheduled to land to my appt.

The one of the main ideas I'm coming home with is the issue of privacy. What is it and who has a right to it. As librarians, we try to protect our patrons privacy -- even to the point of not letting them know which books that have already read. I remember the feeling of going into the small library in Colchester Vt and looking at the book cards and seeing that B127 and knowing that I already took the book out. But it is not that simple anymore. We have tried to not collect information but that is probably not the way to go. We need to find a way to encrypt information so the patron has control over it and can use it the way they want. We don't need to have access to it but they have a right to their own data. It shouldn't be hard to do that. It is just a matter of getting the vendors to want to do it. We also need to educate our patrons about the issue and try to protect them from themselves. All over the exhibit hall, I saw people handing over their little cards to vendors for a chance to win some prize or other. What info is on those cards? And why are we so quick to surrender it just for a small chance to win a prize? OK, I admit I handed over my card several times to enter drawings. But it felt wrong somehow.

Another major theme is how to use web 2.0 tools with kids to help them become better users and producers of information. I read a summary of a session from NECC about having the kids use their cell phones in school in their education. I need to read more about that. We should be taking the kids from where they are to where we want them to be.

Lots of notes to go through but probably not on the plane tonight. I have an ARC of Let it snow by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle to occupy my awake moments on the way home. I'll spend tomorrow catching up with the family and sleep. But I need to look over the notes while it is still fresh!

So, hello LA today and then I bid a fond farewell to the west coast.

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