Wednesday, July 07, 2010

ALA 2010: The Stacks

There is always something about entering "The Stacks" at ALA that reminds me of a carnival atmosphere. Maybe it's the sound of wheels spinning for prizes, or even the vendors pitching their sessions like barkers, regardless it is an atmosphere of fun and prizes. I convince myself not to pick up any more pens (I really do not need them) and limit the number of ARCs to what I can comfortably transport in my ALA bag.

This plan worked until I arrived in one of the children's book aisles, was offered a copy of Nikki Grimes new book, A Girl Named Mister, autographed by the author. No line. No waiting. Very gracious author signing books. A few booths away I met Janet Mullany, the author of Jane and the Damned, due out this October. One more autographed book. To the delight of my niece I found several titles of interest for eight year old girls before the bag was full.

Arriving back at AU, I compared notes with our technical services and government documents librarian who also spent quality time in The Stacks. She had opportunity to talk with the EBSCOHost vendors and learned about a new customizable search box builder now available on their support site. One of their integration tools, the Search Box Builder allows users to "Choose your search parameters and customize your search box size and style to fit your site." I have already created one for our LibGuide widget library that will search Academic Search Complete, Education Research Complete, and ERIC (for the education page). Alas, attempts to paste the code here for an example were spectacularly unsuccessful (at least visually); but it works fabulously.

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