Why Do You Visit the MLA Exhibit Hall?

A while back ago MLA sent out its meeting survey asking attendees their opinions about the meeting.  Lots of questions are asked so that MLA staff and future NPC (National Programming Committees) can learn from the responses.

I noticed one question needed a little bit of updating.  The question is regarding the exhibit hall and what types of information or products you (the librarian) is looking for.

(Question from the survey)
Check the types of information or products you were looking for: (Check all that apply)

  • Publications
  • Integrated information systems
  • Subscription services
  • Computer hardware & software
  • Online services
  • Binding services
  • Photocopying equipment
  • Security systems
  • Films & videotapes
  • AV equipment
  • Data-retrieval systems
  • Library furniture
  • Other health organizations
  • Other (has a text box to specify)

So my first thought is this question, specifically its answers, is dated.  Who is looking for films and videotapes in 2015. Online image bank collections yes, but films and videotapes?

My second thought is, how many people are clicking publications and subscription services and can/should those answers be more specific? For example aren’t a lot of our services subscription services?  Do we need something like journal subscription services, ebook subscription services, database subscription services? Or, does journal and ebook subscription services handled with the publications answer?

There are probably two reasons for the existence of this question.

  1. MLA wants to find more vendors that are relevant to librarian needs.
  2. MLA wants vendors to share what librarians are looking for/need.

So dropping the question is not a good idea, MLA staff and NPC’s still need that type of information.  However, we it needs to be revised.  This is where I am asking for your help.  Please either comment here on the blog, Twitter (@Krafty) or on my Facebook page with a few things of what you are looking for when you visit the exhibit hall.




4 thoughts on “Why Do You Visit the MLA Exhibit Hall?”

  1. I like to visit the exhibitor halls to talk to vendors of products that I use. I don’t make purchasing decisions but I can suggest products to my manager so I sometimes walk around the halls with that hat on too. And of course, useful swag! 🙂

  2. Journal subscription agents, Ebook vendors that allow Patron driven acquisition, print book vendors, database vendors, integrated library systems, medical app publishers, anything that will save time or money.

  3. I go for about 30 minutes to peruse the vendors – which helps me learn about new products and services – and I have no agenda in mind, I just want to learn. I go back later on for another 30 minutes to speak with Thomson Rueters (Web of Science) and Elsevier (Scopus) about specific problems/updates to their products. If I can I also try to catch one of NLM’s presentations.

    Overall, I probably only spend 1 hour of the conference in the Exhibit Hall. There isn’t any purpose behind that time frame, its just that there is so much else to do and people to see. I guess I also always go the poster sessions (2-4 hours) which are generally held in the Exhibit Hall, but I would go to those no matter where they were held.

    I didn’t see anyone from Digital Science (http://www.digital-science.com/) like I had hoped – but maybe I just missed them.

  4. off the top of my head
    Ebooks (packages)
    ejournals (packages)
    Online subscriptions
    Online video content
    Institutional Repository Software
    Content Management
    Point of Care Apps
    Point of Care Resources
    Discovery tools/resources
    Test Prep/Board Review
    I don’t know — I have always thought the current list completely dated, but Im a generation x librarian and I dont know what half the stuff in librarian world means anyways. Here’s ALA exhibit categories:
    Audio Books
    Film & Video
    Historical Film and Video
    Laser Discs
    Magnification Devices
    Special Interest
    Authority Control
    Bar Codes
    Business Information
    Computer Software
    Computers & Peripheral Equipment
    Database Preparation
    Document Delivery Systems
    Electronic Document Delivery
    Electronic Imaging Systems
    Information Superhighway
    Integrated Library Systems
    Library Automated Systems
    Library Cards
    Magnetic Stripe Cards
    Media Management
    Micrographic Equipment
    Online Search Services
    Reference Systems
    Retro Conversion
    Serials/ACQ Systems
    Tape Processing
    Technical Information
    Web Products
    Books, Periodicals, Documents
    Electronic Online Journals
    Equipment, Furniture, Supplies
    Archival Products
    Display Cases/Fixtures/Systems
    Electronic Library Kiosk
    Environmental Products
    library Store/Promotional Products
    Mobile Storage
    Photo ID Systems
    Puzzles and Games
    Rubber Stamps
    Security Systems
    Sign System
    Signs Interior/Exterior/Systems
    Storage Systems
    Traffic Counters

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