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Report from the ALA exhibits floor

One of the advantages of attending such a large conference is the exposure that
is possible to issues and programs outside one’s normal everyday interests.  The
extensive exhibits are one place where vendors and publishers of all kinds
promote their wares. I’m on the exhibit floor now, watching a presentation in
the Library of Congress booth about LC’s digital preservation

The big news in print publishing continues to be children’s
books and products; it’s hard to find adult books (my personal interest) here on
the exhibit floor.

Nevertheless, many publishers are giving away advance
reading copies or uncorrected proofs, not to mention posters, catalogs, flyers
and many other (heavy) items.  No wonder there is a post office right here,
ready with boxes available for shipping.

The exhibit flloor is also a
good place to catch trends.  I was struck by the growing specialty areas of
gaming and  graphic novels and comics, as well as the increase in audiobook
producers.  These are geared toward public and school libraries more than to a
place like the Smithsonian, of course, but there may be relevance to our
education programs.

Technology is big, of course, but there are furniture
displays, architects, and much more.  Continuing presentations from authors and
tech vendors can be engaging.  Finally, there seems to be a growing number of
jewelry, clothing, and other commercial products, which adds to the fun, if not
the business.

I’ll be back with more serious stuff later.

– Nancy

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