Monday, July 16, 2007

Blogging from Taiwan

It seems hard to believe I've been in Taiwan for four days but I have. I arrived early Friday morning and checked into my hotel. After settling in I decided not to waste a day and did a short walk from the hotel to what was formerly known as the Chang Kai-shek Memorial but has more recently been renamed the National Democracy Memorial. Taipei is a huge sprawling city. The view from my hotel room window looks like a midtown Manhattan scene. Later that day I decided to take a half-day trip up to the northeast coast of Taiwan and visited an old gold rush town which has become a tourist attraction.
Over the weekend I went on a prearranged tour to the center of the island visiting several tourist attractions on the way there and back including a rice winery, a paper-making factory and an aboriginal culture village. Our destination was Sun Moon Lake, the largest in Taiwan. It reminded me of the lakes in northern Italy--lots of fog and mist and even a little rain while we were there. The surface of the lake is 750 m. so it was a bit cooller than in the lowlands. Taipei has been in the 90s and very humid.
The conference pre-sessions were today and I went a morning session on digital resources in school libraries lead by California's own Lesley Farmer and two professors from Hong Kong University. One of them came up to me afterwards and said he would add my name as a session presenter because I can't resist commenting and contributed quite a bit to the discussion. I always like the kind of presentation where the attendees can contribute especially when there are academics doing the presenting and "practitioners" in the audience!
This afternoon I took the MRT (rapid transit) to the end of the line and a small town almost on the sea for lunch and a little sightseeing. Tomorrow the conference officially opens and I will be doing my presentation on the future of the online catalog.
Here's a link to my Web Album of Taiwan pictures.
More news later.

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