"Q. I've just come back from the ALA conference in Chicago and am trying to pull together my trip report. With efforts at "going green" there seemed to be fewer handouts--or at least fewer copies available. Can you tell me where I can find the speaker' presentations and handouts? The presenters said they would be "on the web." But where?
A. Good question! How handouts and other output from the Annual Conference are disseminated varies considerably from division to division, or from one program planner or speaker to another. A couple of years ago, ALA instituted the Conference Materials Archive in order provide a central place to collect the handouts or other conference content--or at least links to that content.
But there is great inconsistency as to whether materials are there. The ALA Library will seek out handouts when possible, but here are some of our tricks for when they are not on the wiki:
- We use the online PDF of the 2009 Annual Conference Program Book (big file--almost 9MB) to identify the sponsor of the program and exact title
- Then, we do a search of the ALA website, to see if the unit has posted the content
- The next step is a general web search or a check the division's blogs and podcasts
- Finally, we try a search for the specific speaker to see if the material has been posted on the speaker’s personal or institutional webpage or blog
To complicate matters even more, with the exception of the very few contemporaneous blog posts, there is a time lag between the program presentation and the posting or publication of the content. There is also always the possibility that a presentation is not recorded or written and may only be captured when the presenter uses the content in a substantially revised form in a publication a year or more later.
We are looking into ways for using ALA Connect for these materials and would welcome comments. "