Independent Verification,

or,

I Told You So!

One of the greatest single moments of the SLA conference happened when I was at the Young Professional’s Happy Hour making small talk around the bar. I mentioned that I had been to 2 other SLA conferences, Los Angeles and Nashville. One of the guys in the group commented that he had heard the Los Angeles conference was wild. I asked what he meant and he said he’d heard there was a porn convention going on at the same time!

Now is probably the right time to step back and explain why the concurrent porn convention is so exciting to me. When I went to the SLA conference in Los Angeles (2002), I was paying my own way and was trying to keep costs down as much as possible. The regular conference hotels like the Hyatt were way out of my price-range. So, I shared a room with Vera in a cheap motel a few blocks from the convention center.

I arrived on Saturday and Vera came in on Sunday. That first night alone was a little scary. The motel was certainly not the best place I’d ever stayed, the lock on the door looked very insufficient, and there were strange and loud noises throughout the night. Needless to say, I was quite glad when Vera came the next day.

The music and noises, however, continued for a few days. One afternoon after we got back from our sessions and before the evening’s social events began, we were relaxing in the motel room and heard very distinctive thumping noises coming from the room above ours. Okay, whatever.

But then later that night another friend staying in the motel on the floor above us said that she had encountered a half-dressed woman in the hallway and, passing a room with the door open, saw video cameras, etc. It seemed quite clear that our motel was the location of a porn shoot.

Since that day, I have related my tale several times and I always get the feeling that people don’t quite believe me; perhaps I’m exaggerating the nature of my cheap motel for effect.

So it was with great excitement that I listened to my new friend in Baltimore talk about his boss’ experience at the Los Angeles convention center. Apparently, she got a little lost and ended up going through a door to another part of the convention center where what to her wondering eyes should appear? I don’t know that she saw all that much before getting re-directed, but she did see a bag full of toys with the word “erotica” on it. Being the good librarian that she was, her first thought was that it said “e-rotica” (pronounced e-roteeca) and she was trying to figure out what new electronic information service it was.

With this new information, I did what any other good librarian who was trying to prove a point would do. I looked for more information. The SLA conference in 2002 ran from June 8th through 13th. Erotica LA, the 2nd largest adult entertainment tradeshow in California, ran through Sunday June 9th, also at the Los Angeles Convention Center. There was an official overlap of 2 days, with, apparently, some lingering tradeshow attendees.

So now I have completely independent verification that there WAS something going on in Los Angeles, something perhaps much more interesting than the sessions I was going to. . .