Liz Choate and I took the Metra into Chicago, and then caught the conference shuttle at the W Chicago City Center hotel, which was an adventure in itself! Here are some of the vendors I saw at the Exhibit Hall:
E-Resources vendors: Library Ideas (Freading and Freegal), Midwest Tape (Hoopla), OverDrive (Media on Demand), 3M (3M Cloud Reader) - I told Jim at Library Ideas that we just launched Freading, it is easy to use and patrons like it! Liz and I stopped by the Midwest Tape booth and saw a demo of Hoopla, which is out of beta testing and launching to public libraries in July 2013. OverDrive staff gave us a demo of the new video streaming service launching in July 2013.
RFID and locker vendors: Bibliotheca, m.k. Sorting Systems, 3M, LEID Products - Dan and Dustin from Bibliotheca gave me a demo of the MyCommunity kiosk. They did not have their Automated Materials Handler machine with them, but showed me pictures of the different sizes (200, 250, 300, etc.). We talked about the recent controversy at the Urbana Free Library, one of their RFID customers. Nick from 3M gave me a demo of the self-check machines and Automated Materials Handler. I stopped by LEID Products to see their DVD dispenser. Barrington Area Library is their customer, so we will get to see their lockers when we visit during the In-Service Day.
Integrated Library System vendors: Innovative (Sierra), Polaris - Liz and I watched a demo of the staff module for Sierra, which has an improved keyword search from Millennium. Liz, Rebecca Skirvin and I spoke to staff at Polaris about their Community module, which integrates subject bibliographies and current events!
ALA Membership Pavilion - I spoke with ALA volunteers and picked up my ALA Member and ALA First-Time Member ribbons for my name badge.