Saturday, April 29, 2006

Librarians Jumping Ship from ALA to BookExpo?

Michael Rogers, writing in the May 1 issue of Library Journal, notes that the BookExpo America conference drew a record 2,242 librarians last year (total attendance 35,000). He speculates that that number may increase this year as more librarians who are interested in books find BookExpo a "far more rewarding experience" than the ALA conference in New Orleans.

I can see why librarians may want to jump ship from the ALA conference to BookExpo. For starters, it's cheaper (75 bucks). The ALA program leaves me cold. I kept looking through it and wondering if it was a spoof and where the real program was. But BookExpo looks much more exciting. There are several presentations aimed at librarians including--wait for it--incoming ALA President Leslie Burger who will talk about what sounds like Library 2.0 stuff like MP3 books, digital products & services and online searching! Sometimes I think I must have contracted "referential mania" and everything that happens in the world is a sly code intended for me personally.

Library Journal is actively involved with BookExpo as well--they're hosting a Librarians Lounge in the vendor area. Bookexpo will podcast about 24 events from the conference after it is over. Is ALA doing anything like this?

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