2017 OLAC Conference Update

Newsletter Issue: 
Volume 37 no. 3 September 2017

The conference is coming up October 26-29 (preconference on October 26) at the Omni Richmond

Hotel, a fantastic venue for learning and networking about AV cataloging!  The registration deadline is September 30, and the full program and event information is available on the OLAC Conference Website.  

Planes, Trains & Automobiles – there are many ways to get to Richmond.  Richmond hosts an international airport serving the major airlines, including three economy airlines.  The train is popular for commuters between Washington D.C. and Richmond, and it’s only a 9 minute walk from the hotel.  

The Omni is at an excellent location in downtown Richmond overlooking the James River.  It is within view of the Capitol designed by Thomas Jefferson, and featured in Stephen Spielberg’s film, Lincoln.  Within an easy stroll from the hotel are over thirty restaurants and great shopping on the gas-lit, cobblestone streets of Historic Shockoe Slip.  In addition, the hotel is part of a complex that includes a mini-mall with restaurants, shops, and an upscale YMCA that is freely available to hotel guests.   

Special events are planned at the conference.  On Friday night, attendees and their guests will take a shuttle to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, a top tourist destination in Richmond especially noteworthy for its collections of Art Nouveau, Art Deco, and Modern and Contemporary American Art, French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, British sporting art, Fabergé jeweled objects, and English silver.  The museum’s holdings of South Asian, Himalayan, and African art are among the finest in the nation. 

A short walk from the museum is Carytown, a historic and fun destination of restaurants, shops, and nightlife.   

On Saturday night, OLAC will gather for a reception with the Down River Dance Band featuring Mark Campbell, award-winning Old Time fiddler.   

I am particularly thrilled that for the cost of a $35 shuttle ride (or free with your own transportation), OLAC attendees and their guests may attend the LC Packard Campus Audio Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia on the Monday (October 30) after the conference ends.  According to Andrea Leigh, Moving Image Processing Unit Head, you will get an inside look of the 45-acre campus where the Library of Congress acquires, preserves, and provides access to the world’s largest and most comprehensive collection of films, television programs, radio broadcasts, and sound recordings.  It includes 124 individual vaults for nitrate film, as well as a 206-seat theater.  On the tour, you will be provided with an overview of the complexities involved in processing various collections and formats in support of preservation and access and you will see the Center’s film, video, and audio labs, nitrate and safety vaults, and data center.   

Please see the OLAC Conference Website for more details on all of these events and venues, plus much more information about all of the wonderful restaurants and sightseeing you can do in Richmond. 

Of course the most important part of the OLAC Conference is the program. Stacie Traill has put together great workshops, which you can read about elsewhere in this newsletter.  She is in the process of recruiting presenters for poster sessions, collaborative problem-solving roundtables, and lightening talks.  I’m very pleased that our keynote speaker is Regina Reynolds, Director of the ISSN Center and head of the ISSN Section at the Library of Congress.  Her presentation, Video, Audio, Digital, and All that Jazz:  Bibliographic Transformation in an Era of Too Much “Stuff,” will be thought-provoking and entertaining.  

I’ve been thinking a lot about the value of the OLAC Conference to the cataloging world.  The conference is a gathering of library professionals eager to network and learn the basics and trends of their profession, which in this case is AV cataloging.  What makes OLAC unique among conferences, however, is its focus on experts empowering others to excel at their jobs.  I learned how to catalog maps from attending an OLAC Conference, and was able to implement this new skill immediately at my library.  And the experts are good teachers and collaborators!  Seasoned catalogers and novices work together to come up with the best approach to the challenges of cataloging.  Don’t miss this amazing conference.  

Kay Johnson
Chair, OLAC Conference