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2009 Annual Conference Invitation: Explore Columbus

Submitted by Ximena Chrisagis, State Liaisons Committee Chair, Representative at Large, Conference Publicity Committee, Paul Laurence Dunbar Library, Wright State University, Dayton, OH

Besides excellent speakers, CEs, paper and poster presentations and vendor encounters, this year's Midwest MLA Annual Conference in Columbus will offer many opportunities to network and check out Ohio's capital city. Here's a preview:

Saturday evening-Set sail for the Caribbean! The opening reception features food and entertainment worthy of the islands, including the music of steel drummer Deighton Charlemagne. A native of the island of St. Lucia, Mr. Charlemagne formed the reggae group Identity on the campus of Ohio University in 1982. He has performed his solo act throughout the United States. For more information, see his website. Still hungry for exploration after the reception? Why not check out the October Gallery Hop in the Short North Arts District?

Sunday evening-Visit Ohio's State Capitol. Sunday's special event features music, a complete Italian dinner and our own private tour of the Statehouse, which is conveniently located just across the street from our conference hotel. Construction began on the building in 1839 and was completed in 1861. It was restored during the 1990s. Want to get a head start on the tour? A virtual tour and videos are available. See the Capitol's newest attractions, the Museum Education Center (which just opened this summer) and the gift shop.


Monday morning-Kick-start your morning with a 45-minute walk through downtown Columbus. See the top-ranked Columbus Metropolitan Library, the unique Topiary Garden and more.

Monday evening-Two group-dining options will be offered-within walking distance of the hotel. Watch the conference website for more information.

Anytime-And, as always, you can create your own informal social events as you network with your friends and colleagues throughout the conference.

Featured Keynote Speakers

Sunday: Clifford Stoll
Now a "mostly" stay at home dad, astronomer Clifford Stoll is the author of High Tech Heretic: Why Computers Don't Belong in the Classroom and Other Reflections by a Computer Contrarian, Silicon Snake Oil: Second Thoughts on the Information Highway and The Cuckoo's Egg: Tracking a Spy through the Maze of Computer Espionage. He also makes and sells Klein (zero-volume) bottles. Take a look at the video Clifford Stoll on Everything: 18 Minutes with an Agile Mind on TED.

Monday: Lorcan Dempsey
Vice President and Chief Strategist of OCLC, Lorcan Dempsey has worked in libraries and educational institutions in Ireland, England and the United States. Among his areas of expertise are networked information and digital libraries. He is a National Information Standards Organization (NISO) Board Member and has consulted on national policy and service organizations for several countries. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.

He administers the blog Lorcan Dempsey's Weblog. Other selected publications and presentations are linked from the OCLC website.

Midwest MLA Logo.jpg

In addition to these speakers, two panel discussions are currently slated, "What Administrators Want from Libraries" (panelists: Margaret Bandy, Karen Heiser, and Rebecca Phillips) and "Scholarly Communication 101: It's All About Change" (panelists: Ray English and Karen Fischer.

Some things you may not know about our 2009 Annual Conference host city and state:

  • In addition to being Ohio's capital, Columbus is the 15th largest city in the United States and is within 550 miles of half the U.S. population.

  • Previously, Ohio's state tourism slogan was "Ohio, the Heart of it All" (yes, really). It supposedly could be interpreted on multiple levels (the variety of activities and attractions, Ohio's geographic location in the U.S., and Ohio is-if you really stretch your perception and suspend your disbelief-sort of heart-shaped).

  • The University System of Ohio features 14 public universities, 24 branch campuses, 23 community colleges and more than 200 adult workforce education centers and training programs.

  • 52 private institutions are members of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio.

  • Ohio has 7 medical schools.

  • Columbus is a fun city. But don't just take our word for it, check it out for yourself at Experience Columbus! Then, join us in October to Seek, Explore, and Discover at the 2009 Midwest Chapter/MLA Annual Conference.

Don't forget to check the conference website and ConnectMidwest for conference updates!


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