I'm in San Jose, CA for the 2007 PLA Spring Symposium. I got up early today to fly here from Kansas City and arrived mid-day. From there I found the Fairmont hotel (so far no complaints - it is beautiful and well situated downtime), and checked in. A quick check of the schedule told me I had just enough time to make a tour (followed by a lunch) of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library (which is the main branch of the San Jose Public Library). However I hadn't registered. I took a chance and headed over (the four blocks). Luckily they had plenty of room (there were only a few of us and they had planned on many more).
We got a great tour of the library. They have lots of art incorporated throughout the building, but it is concept art and not labelled so you have to look for it. I especially like the shelf unit of books that rotate to reveal a back of trick books. Very cool, especially since it is in the mystery section. The library is a joint effort between the city and San Jose State University. Half the floors are dewey, half are loc. One entrance is a public entrance on the street, the other (directly through the main hall) is an entrance onto the campus. It is a really great partnership. Beautiful library, amazing use of space and also great merchandising of the collection. We then had lunch with staff from the library school and the public library. I had great conversations with my other attendees and their staff. Then there was an open house for the King Library's Adult Literacy center. I'm here for the workshop on literacy initiatives. It was great to see what they're doing and how much they're helping people.
The opening session featured the LJ Librarian of the year who talked about her work in Maryland libraries advocacy and lobbying. It was good and inspiring. I got to talk to some neat people during the desert reception.
Photos of the Symposium - mainly King Library so far.
I tried to get a picture of the very cool counter they have by their circulation desk. It is a large LED screen that continually counts their circulation stats ever since they opened. You can watch it go up as people check stuff out. Fabulous! (The picture isn't that great though).
I could go into more of all that, but I'm tired. It's late by any clock and I've had a long day. I'll try to blog more complete thoughts about the experience later. There is also the official PLA blog to read.
There was an earthquake about 50 miles away, it was a 4.2. I didn't feel anything. I'm almost a little disappointed.