Thoughts from my first ALA Conference (amost)
I call my recent trip to Chicago my almost conference since I was only there for one day – and then it was a preconference workshop. None of the exhibits were open and I didn’t get much of a chance to network with either vendors or fellow librarians. However, I was able to get a hint of what was in the works for the full conference opening day after I left. That in itself was awesome!
My preconference workshop was sponsored by LITA , so I knew it would be highly technical in nature. Karen Coombs was an excellent presenter and I’m thrilled to be signed up for one of her workshops at Internet Librarian in October. Hopefully, I will learn more from that one than I did at the one I just attended!! In all honesty, it wasn’t the fault of the presenter but rather my own lack of knowledge of XML, especially as it related to MARC records and OCLC WorldCat. This is just something I’ve never worked with nor had a desire to learn. Thus, much of the subject matter discussed in the API and Mashup conference went right over my head.
The fun part of myday came when we were introduced to Yahoo Pipes. Again, another new concept for me, but it’s very easy to use and I can see practical reasons to use it on our Library web page. While on the Pipes page, it occured to me that I must be a visual learner since looking at those nice boxes resembling flow charts looked much more appealing than the pages of PHP code that I later studied. Using Pipes, I created a customized RSS feed combing four different science sites and then sorted them by date. The resulting piece of code can then be imbedded into a regular web page. I also made a mashup using a Google map and photos from Flickr tagged with specified subjects. It was simple but looked impressive! While I will probably never be a huge fan of MARC XML , there is great potential in the information I brought back with me on creating web services for our Library using Pipes and mashups.
Entry filed under: conferences.