26 June 2006

The Adventures of Sir Cockatrice & Princess Coppertop

I'm in Hattiesburg. I'll be here for a couple days this week. I've got the next couple weeks off work. I'll be back in Jackson in time for the book club meeting though.

I don't have huge travel plans. I'll mostly be either in the Hattiesburg or Jackson areas either relaxing, working at my mother's shop, or, well, whatever...

Coppertop and I went to New Orleans yesterday to attend the ALA Conference. We met up at Byram at 7 a.m. and arrived at the Convention Center three hours later.

When we arrived in New Orleans, we saw more and more damage because of Katrina. FEMA trailers. Police cars-- both New Orleans and Louisiana State Police. We also saw damaged cars underneath overpasses. Heavily damaged buildings as well.

We got our badges (no, not stinking badges), renewed my association membership, and toured the exhibits area for the next hour and forty-five minutes. We ran into the King of Thomson Scientific. Coppertop was named a princess. I was dubbed Sir Cockatrice.

At 11:45, we headed over to the Marriott across the street to attend an Ebsco luncheon, which also doubled as a database presentation. A similar presentation at the ALA Midwinter Conference that I had attended in San Antonio earlier this year had some information that was also in this meeting.

The presentation was geared more for public librarians, but since Sunday was the only day Coppertop and I could make it to New Orleans, I emailed an Ebsco rep I knew and asked if we could attend this luncheon and if she could give me a CD of the academic presentation. She said she could, and she did.

The lunch and presentation were great. I got a chance to talk to the rep for a little while as well as talk to another Ebsco person who I've exchanged emails about regarding some of the new Magnolia databases.

After lunch, we put our bags in my car and went back to the convention center where we went back to the exhibits. We talked to vendors and librarians we knew-- former supervisors on the part of both Coppertop and I as well as a former classmate of mine who works at another college and another academic librarian. I ran into some vendors I knew and talked to them.

In the course of our wanderings through the exhibits area, we also filled more bags with advance reading copies, catalogs, cards, and other library-related materials. I purchased some books and a shirt from the Unshelved guys. Here's the front and back of the shirt.

We finished going through the exhibits area shortly before 4 p.m. and made our way back to the car with our cargo. The bags were so heavy that my hands are-- a day later-- still slightly red. We made it back to Byram at 7 p.m. Princess Coppertop loaded her four bags in her vehicle and headed home. I headed back to Clinton.

I woke up this morning and prepared to head down to Hattiesburg. I had lunch at a Chinese restaurant in Clinton and then went over to the college.

While I may be on vacation for two weeks, I don't want to lug around four bags for all that time. I wanted to lighten my load as soon as possible.

One of my colleagues was the recipient of all the catalogs I gathered as well as I believe a couple of buttons, a mousepad, a notepad, and a paperclip holder. She had the decided advantage of being the first one to see me.

Another got a coffee cup and wildflower seeds. A third co-worker has-- I believe-- a lanyard, a bag, and an advance reading copy of a book. A fourth co-worker has a bag, some advance reading copies, a couple of magazines, and a button.

My dean claimed some items-- among them were a markerboard eraser and a ruler. I don't know what my supervisor selected. I left some advance reading copies and a mug in the lounge. I'm sure they'll get claimed by someone (or several someones) sooner or later.

I retained some books, my Google cap, a nice-looking stapler, and a few pens. My colleagues said that I needed to put my name on the stapler. No, it's not like Office Space's famous red stapler:

I do think it looks nice though. I'm keeping it.

While I was at the library, I also uploaded the Ebsco academic presentation to our intranet folder and sent an email to colleagues about it and answered some emails-- one of them from Otherjay-- before I headed off to Hattiesburg with my ALA swag load significantly lighter.

One of the advance reading copies is for my mother. She really likes Lee Smith's work who has this book coming out in October. I'll keep some and distribute other advance copies to friends.


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