Sunday, June 26, 2005


The ALA conference exhibit area had some good stuff yesterday, despite an early-morning power outage and long lines. The registration area got way backlogged, causing large clusters of librarians and hangers-on to have to wait at the bottom of one set of escalators. Probably what really happened was that the Patriot Act-compliant biometrics devices had a glitch, and they had to have people wait for the surreptitious biometrithingies to take the measurements of attendees before they were allowed up the escalator.

Erik Larson, author of the fascinating Devil in the White City spoke in the morning, but I didn't get there in time to see him. It's a shame he couldn't have led a walking tour of the former Expo grounds, only a quick shuttle ride away from the convention site.

In the evening, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley spoke as a warm-up for Sen. Barack Obama. Both garnered applause with anti-Patriot Act and pro-privacy/First Amendment comments. As far as I can see, Daley didn't even get mentioned in the Trib or Sun-Times articles on Obama's speech. Daley is as Alpha as they come; I wonder how much stuff like that rankles him.

Obama was the opening speaker; The closing speaker will be none other than Hank Zipzer creator, literacy proponent, and all-around cool guy Henry Winkler. (Note - The coolest guy I saw at Book Expo was Henry Rollins. Is there a pattern here? Will the next one be Hank Azaria? Buck Henry?)

Next: Ralph Malph to address the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.


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