Just had a wonderful few days meeting and greeting EnvisionWare friends and customers at our elegantly turned-out booth at the ALA (American Library Association) 2012 conference. This was my first trade show, and being both an EnvisionWare Implementation Consultant and a writer, I was intoxicated by all aspects of the event: all the gadgetry, all the creative genius on display from EnvisionWare and its colleagues and competitors, as well as all the fantastic media and books that will ultimately be delivered to library customers via said gadgetry. It was the whole deal. Even Stephen King was there, playing one last gig with his band The Rock Bottom Remainders (They are supposedly hanging up the guitars for good but I don't believe it; they're bound to get sick of their day jobs and come slinking back).
The main conversation piece at our booth was, not surprisingly, the 24-Hour Library--what I like to refer to as our "branch in a box." This was my first opportunity to really play with our glorious new machine, and let me tell you: it is a thing of wonder. You can check out items, return items, pay fines, even apply for a library card. You can go online, reserve an item from any branch, and pick it up at the 24-Hour Library. I think I speak for everyone present in saying that we experienced an almost child-like delight in watching the checked-out books magically slide out of the slot like cash from an ATM machine. I simply cannot wait to see these things sprout up all over the landscape like flowers.
Of course, the 24-Hour Library was not all that we had on display. Attendees also got a chance to view, and interact with, our self-service kiosks, RFID gates, Staff Transaction Station (STS)™, LibraryPDA®, EnvisionWare Modular Sorter™, and PC Reservation® and LPT:One™ Clients. For my part, I got to finally meet in person some of the people I have worked with over the phone for the past six years. ALA was, all in all, a wonderful experience, the excitement mitigating the aches and fatigue in my feet from four days of continuous standing.
To all those who stopped by: THANK YOU for making my trade show debut so much fun. I'm looking forward to the next one.
The Man in The Purple Shirt