People goof. It happens sometimes. But there are goofs, and then there are GOOFS! ALA is providing wireless network access for this year’s conference. GREAT! Only problem is, it doesn’t really appear to be there.

According to both the ALA Program Guide and Website:
“Once again the ALA will be offering Wifi internet access to all attendees of the Annual Meeting at no charge. Wifi “hot zones” will be in ALL {emphasis added} of the public areas (lobbies, meeting rooms, and ballrooms) but not in the exhibit halls. Persons with Wifi-enabled devices will be able to access the internet simply by connecting to the “ALA2008″ network.”

So far I’ve been to meetings in three hotels, and I have yet to find this seemingly-mythical ALA2008 network. I’ve looked. Oh believe me, I’ve looked. So where is the breakdown? Did ALA mean to provide Wifi only in the convention center? Surely not. There are meetings in numerous hotels, and people need network connections. Did ALA somehow forget to make appropriate arrangements with the conference hotels? Again, surely not. That would be a pretty big oversight. I wonder just what exactly happened?

ALA and some of its various units have been encouraging people to blog about what’s happening in the conference. If you enjoy reading or writing blogs, this could be an interesting way to expand a meeting’s discussion beyond the boundaries of the room. But . . . to blog you need a connection. If the connection isn’t there, nothing else can happen. Try again next year, ALA.