Thursday, May 30, 2002

Conference countdown!

Conference countdown! One week away for the Point of Care to Your Palm
Conference in Peoria
. ( One week from now at this time,
the conference will all be over. Our grant project(
officially ends tomorrow. In answer to Jenny, the Shifted Librarian's
question that keeps echoing around my brain, "What's your next project, Lori?": I don't know. At a presentation I
did at Jenny's system, Suburban Library System, she introduced me as a person who once had an ideal job in which
I flitted from project to project without having to complete paperwork. I have to say, I love projects! Tomorrow, I will
probably be somewhat maudlin because the project officially ends. But, I know there is yet another project just around
the corner waiting for the right time to reveal itself to me.

I look forward to the conference! We have 70 people coming, mostly from the Midwest, but also from Canada, Virginia, and
of course Mari Stoddard from Arizona. I look forward to meeting a number of people I have met virtually through this blog,
but have never met in person. All of you that are coming get to meet Jenny, the
Shifted Librarian
; Peg, whom I have mentioned a number of times in this blog; my boss Carol and Peg's boss Jo, two excellent
and highly skilled and qualified medical librarians; Tom Peters,the ultimate project evaluator; and of course Mari Stoddard, who was doing all of this before I had ever encountered a Palm
organizer! It will be a wonderful exciting day and I plan to enjoy every single minute of it! Especially the afternoon when
Peg's and my presentations are over. I wonder: what happens next? I look forward to our ILA Conference in Chicago in
September. Tom, Teri Ross Embrey, another Handheld Librarian, and Jenny will be doing a presentation on state of the art
PDAs. Peg and I will be doing a poster session on our project. Right after that, Carol, Jo, Peg and I hope to do a poster
session at MCMLA in Minneapolis where I hope to meet some of you. Steven Grove is on a panel discussion there I hope to
attend! With our conference, we have tried to offer a different look at PDAs and the library by discussing training, selection
of resources, challenges in circulating and cataloging, and the trial by fire of some products like Ovid@hand.

If there were a next project, what would it entail? The Visor treo and like devices where we look at accessing library resources on the
Internet via wireless on a handheld device? Different ways to network the library like Tribeam target so that personal handheld
devices can access network resources with or without a network card? How to deliver information in new and different formats?
Determine what services/information is optimally or most conveniently delivered on a handheld device? In the wise words
of Tom Peters, what we are really looking at is new ways of delivering information! The delivery mechanism itself will
continually change, whether it is e-books, PDAs, tablet PCs, etc. The issue is not the gadgetry and the gizmos, but how
the library adapts, improvises, and innovates in the delivery of the information and helping people to adapt and to use
whatever gadget, gizmo or device they choose to use to access that information. Sometimes, I just get too carried away
with the gadgets.

Although the project officially ends, we are really still in the middle of it. Peg, my pda partner from the University of Illinois
at Chicago Library of the Health Sciences-Peoria, and I are slated to do PDA orientations for new residents this summer.
We will be able to do our presentations using Margi presenter to go and display the applications from the handheld
to projector to big screen instead of messing with the palm emulator. Roy, the access expert, is still refining our
access database of PDA software and hardware and unlock codes. People are still calling for training and asking questions.
They are still checking out the specialty PDAs. I will be adding some articles on handhelds to our project website
which Carol Galganski found. We are working on some articles and further presentations. It will still be a part of
my life, just a smaller part since through the grant I got to work half time on PDAs.

Soon after the conference, we will post our power points and outlines to the web page so you can look at them.
We will also put copies of the handouts up.

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