I attended my first ALA Midwinter meeting in Denver January 22-27/2009. So here are the three or four important things I came back with from that meeting.
One of the more interesting sessions I attended was Planning for Budget Reductions. One of the presentations challenged you to think of the following scenario - if you could add 5 new positions what would they be and if you had to eliminate 5 positions what would they be. It is an interesting exercises to consider.
From the Chief Collections Officers discussion group I learned that Stanford and UCBerkeley are starting extensive discussions to identify ways to be more collaborative in building their collections. They are really interested in making their borrow direct work between the two libraries in hopes of achieving an overall collections savings for each library. This might be an interesting topic for a Baltimore-wide group of collections librarians to consider?
I attended a LibQUAL session where Colleen Cook from Texas A&M shared some of their 10 years of longitudinal data. I definitely have massive data envy. They discussed the mechanics of the survey and validity of the survey. People in the session who have participated in LibQUAL pointed out that the work is not done when the survey closes. When the survey closes the real work begins, that is when you get to work diving into the data. Also, most libraries agree that no matter how good your collection maybe to you, that section in the survey on the collection - especially the need for more electronic journals - seems to be where patrons always want more.
Finally, I learned about Daily Lit http://www.dailylit.com/ which allows you to read books online via a daily RSS feed. Only takes 5 minutes of your day. How cool is that?! BTW, Denver was a great location for a conference. We had some warm weather, some snow, but a lot of sunshine.