Back from AALL @ St. Louis

Back from attending AALL in St. Louis. I was a co-panelist at the ‘Handhelds in Libraries’ presentation, and talked about all things Palm: ‘Hello, my name is Grace, and I am a Palm user.’
You can download the presentation from Jurispda. Eric Gilson of Rutgers focused on Windows devices and current library projects involving handhelds. I talked more about developing applications for the handheld, and about the Jurispda project, which provides lega resources and l content (statutes, cases, etc) for Palm OS users.

I did some of the exhibits. Thomson West has a version of Black’s Law Dictionary for your computer. The install is on CD and it integrates with your browser and word processor. But in order to limit users from having the whole dictionary on their machine you must be on the internet, because the program goes and fetches the definition off their server.

Librarians around me were asking the person demonstrating the program ‘isn’t there a version for handhelds?’

Er, no. I’ve been saying for years that West could clean up if they developed a version for handhelds. I explained that the installed user base for non-wired handhelds is huge (like, 20 million?) and they are missing out on a potential market. The Thomson employee promised to put me in touch with the developer – this product is being developed by a separate company and not by the Thomson West.

I also attended the blogger meetup, organized by Maryellen Fullerton. There must have been 35 librarians in attendance! It was great to match faces to blogs.