At MLA 2011 I participated in 2 presentations, one on Science Fiction Readers Advisory, and one on eBooks.
“To Boldly Go: Fantastical Journeys through Science Fiction Readers’ Advisory” was my solo science fiction readers’ advisory presentation. I started out by making the point that SF is literature, and, in many ways, SF RA is the same as any other sort of RA. Then I talked about how it’s different, and went through various science fiction tropes and subgenres. In lieu of handouts, I created a blog, a Delicious account (mirrored on Diigo, due to Delicious’ recent upgrade), and a GoogleDocs page, all of which are linked here. About 30 people attended, which is pretty good for 8:00 am, and the audience was enthusiastic and asked questions.
“E-books: What’s All the EXCITEMENT About?” was the eBooks panel I participated in and moderated. We kept the discussion philosophical, and some of the topics discussed were what the panelists’ libraries are doing with eBooks, the future of print and eBooks, the library’s role in the future of eBooks, meeting patrons’ expectations, the library’s role in matters of patron privacy in the digital age, the availability of eBooks for lending and what are publishers thinking, anyway. The discussion was wide-ranging and enthusiastic, with lots of audience participation, and it was standing-room only. We created a wiki including statistics, free eBook sources, and a bibliography of eBook resources. .
I also attended some interesting panels, including “The History of Copyright in 45 Minutes,” “RDA: DOA or A-OK? A Town Hall Debate” (on Resource Description and Access – the new cataloging system being discussed), "Things in a Flash: The Latest Web 2.0 Tools," and the “50 in 60 Book Blast,” which covered Nordic thrillers, teen, contemporary women's fiction, fantasy and science fiction, and paranormal fiction and featured our own Barb Pierce and Jennifer Larson. You might want to check out the MLA 2011 presentation materials. There was also fairly active tweeting and photo taking; check out the Twitter hash tag #mnlib11 and the Flickr photostream.
Melissa @ Central.
(A version of this article also appeared in the November issue of Communique.)