Electronic Postcards

When I attended my first American Library Association conference in San Francisco in June of 1992, I discovered that the Data Research Associates booth in the exhibit hall had a cluster of terminals set up for people to connect to their home systems and check their e-mail. I composed some messages, describing my experiences and impressions, and sent them off to my friends (at the time, other library school students). By the way, if you knew me back then and didn't get one, please don't be offended — I didn't expect to have that opportunity, and only sent my e-postcards to people's addresses that I could remember off the top of my head.

Since 1993 the Internet Room has been a fixture at ALA conferences to allow people to explore Internet resources and check their e-mail. 1995 brought a relocation of the Internet Room to the middle of the exhibit floor and the establishment of a 24-hour e-mail annex outside of the exhibit hall. In 1997, the annex became the Internet Cafe, with coffee available nearby.

I stopped writing my e-postcards after the 1997 conference. It took a lot of time to write them. My 1998 trip to Washington D.C. was particularly busy, with visits to friends and lots of sightseeing. And by then, the novelty of being a new librarian at the big national professional conference had worn off.

1992 Annual Conference — San Francisco:

1993 Annual Conference — New Orleans:

1994 Midwinter Meeting — Post-earthquake Los Angeles in February:

1995 Annual Conference — Chicago:

1997 Annual Conference — San Francisco:

And why, you may ask, have I chosen to display these messages in bright green monospaced text on a black background? Because in the 1990's, that's what e-mail looked like.