Monday, May 29, 2017

Monday Memories--Medical Library Assocation June 1-5, 1996

I got back from the Medical Library Association Annual Meeting in Kansas City about 1 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon.  I was there only 4 days, and chaired two meetings.  Glad that's over.  I know there are people who enjoy that sort of thing, but there are people who like to eat snails and jump from airplanes too, so go figure! 
Kansas City is a lovely city--seems much larger (is) and more cosmopolitan than Columbus, and much more self-aware.  The architecture is varied and dynamic and they've made a big effort to restore various areas.  The train station which used to see 250,000 people a day is empty but I think they are looking for a use for it--maybe a museum.  You get the feeling that KC is your last chance at urban living before hitting the plains, and maybe it was at one time.  The airport is miles and miles from the city, so although my airfare was pretty reasonable, a cab ride to the city is $30.  I found two other librarians at the airport, so we shared a ride. 
I shared a room with Vicki Kok from Virginia and Pat Mullen from Oklahoma.  Our hotel (Westin) was part of an 85 acre urban renewal complex maybe 20-25 years old now with attached shopping mall.  It looks just like Boston and San Antonio and Detroit in that sense.  All the stores and the merchandise are just the same if you stay in a hotel/mall complex.  As a chair of my section, I was invited to the president's reception which was held at Linda Hall Library, a huge privately endowed public library that specializes in the sciences.  I had wanted to see it for about 20 years, and was not disappointed.  It was fabulous.

Instead of going somewhere, our "tour" this year was a Missouri extension agent with his otter; “Reintroduction of River Otters in Missouri” by Glenn D. Chambers, Missouri Department of Conservation and Paddlefoot Productions Incorporated. He and his wife travel around with their two otters and demonstrate their behavior and talk about their habitat to school children.  He estimates he has talked to over 250,000 children in the last 4 years.  It was a very interesting program--I'd never seen an otter, and I guess they were almost extinct (fur trappers and draining swamps about eliminated them) in Missouri at one time, and now have about 800 in the wild.  He got two babies and they "imprinted" to him--he slept with them for the first several months.  He did this because his "real" job is a photographer, and in order to photograph otters in the wild he need some who weren't afraid of him.  He takes them out in the wild and photographs them, and then calls them in and they run and jump in their cages.  He was really great--drawled like a good 'ol boy but you knew he was one really smart guy--has done work for National Geographic and has a movie coming out. 

We had another program given by a guy from St. Louis about the Internet, "The Future of Veterinary Medicine on the Internet" by Ken Boschert, American College of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Division of Comparative Medicine, School of Medicine, Washington University. 

I already knew most of the stuff he talked about and he was doing 3 presentations that week, so it sounded a little canned.  Anyone who talks about computers in a way that I understand--well, I know he's not talking at a very high level, because I really struggle to keep up.

(from a letter to my parents)


Joan said...

Interesting story about the otters!

Nancy said...

Norma, you should come back to Kansas City now and see Union Station. It's a fabulous place to visit now--plus our new streetcar system that runs from Union Station down to the River Market is a lot of fun. And the fabulous Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and the KC Symphony bring so many wonderful programs to KC. So interesting to me that you talked about Linda Hall Library. Until they built a new business school building a few years ago, Linda Hall was the view from my office window. The only negative thing I've ever heard about it was from our campus librarians who felt at one time they were shorted on funding for science journals because the budget-givers felt that Linda Hall provided enough.