Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

LibraryThing doubles its conference budget

Sonya just iPhoned us the LibraryThing for Libraries booth at PLA in Minneapolis, which is starting now.

The rhino has its origin in conference rules that prohibit exhibitors from doing too much of their own setup. At CIL2007 the rule was no more than what one person could carry in one trip, without a hand-truck.

Well, what can one person carry that fills up some of a 10×10 space? An inflatable animal, of course!

There is no meaning; It’s an absurdist joke—a protest against the vacuity of conference selling. Still, it does line up with some of what LibraryThing and LibraryThing for Libraries is all about:

  • We’re not a “vendor.” Vendors bribe you with tchochkes. They erect gorgeous displays, adorned with orthodontically homogenous and racially diverse “patrons” grinning about some irrelevant, overpriced and boring piece of technology.
  • We are cheap. LibraryThing for Libraries costs what it costs. Sonya’s sleeping with friends and she flew cargo, but we spent a few thousand dollars to own a 10×10 booth for three days. The internet alone cost us $1,000. This is rip-job enough, and some library will be paying for it. If we ordered fancy chairs we’d have to charge them another $500. Who wants that?
  • LibraryThing for Libraries “sells itself.” At first I didn’t even want Sonya to make fliers, for fear some people will grab the flier and not see it for real.

Anyway, if you’re at PLA, stop by (booth 1652). If not, but you’re in Portland, ME or Cambridge, MA, send us a note. We might even spring for wine—something we do not skimp on.

PS: Even if you have no interest in LibraryThing for Libraries, help Sonya figure out how to make the rhinos roar. It says they do on the box, and there’s some sort of speaker on the foot, but we can’t figure out how.

Labels: conference, PLA, PLA2008

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