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Surviving ALA Annual

I attended my first library conference, American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference in Chicago, IL. I flew into O’Hare Airport on Friday morning, and left on Tuesday afternoon. It was my first visit to Chicago as well… I’ll sprinkle in some of my culinary adventures as well. But, I think I’ll need to dedicate a whole blog about my Wrigley Field tour. ;o)

So, ALA was an experience. Let’s just say… there’s a reason for the stereotype of librarians, and the coverage of book cart drill further perpetuated that image, even though the coverage was meant to dispel. Right. These news outlets could have easily covered ALA’s Library and Information Technology Association (LITA) program on library innovation featuring the DOK Delft dutch guys to actually dispel librarian myths, and show where the future of libraries could and should be heading… but, that’s just me. ( my personal favorite program, all of the programs by LITA filled that niche in emerging tech/innovation in libraries that I love.)

I also really enjoyed ALA for the baseball connection too. This year’s program on Pride and Passion: The African American Experience, talked about the negro league baseball. The highlight for me was meeting Sharon Robinson, daughter of Jackie Robinson, and winning a poster, which I somehow lost on the commute from the convention center and my hotel on the shuttle buses. I also loved hearing the illustrator’s perspective, Kadir Nelson, explained the process of accurately researching the moment in which he illustrates. I also made a contact with one of the librarians at the Library of Congress who handles Filipino documents, thanks to the Asian Pacific American Librarians Assocation (APALA) program, and lastly, for pleasure, and to strength those reader advisory skills, the Paranormal lit session from Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) featuring Charlaine Harris, Charlie Huston and Marjorie Liu, very interesting perspective on this genre, and free books and autographs was a bonus. ;o)

Most of my networking occurred via Twitter, which is awesome to me… nice shift in a mobile direction, and a good way to keep up with ALA program sessions that I couldn’t make, because everything I wanted to do seemed to be occurring at the same time, or across town. I have a few ideas for how to pimp/market services here at my job, and few ways to pimp/market myself. oh, and did I mention that the exhibit floor was very daunting, and I’m still experiencing shoulder blade pain from carrying around tote bags of goodies.

Oh, and going to ALA sessions with the titles “Millennial and Gen Y,” how to reach them, when you are one… that was interesting. I’m too young for the Gen X groups. I need to find some younger librarians… perhaps, I’ll create a group on ALA Connect. ;o)

Lastly, my culinary treats, 1. Chicago Pizza, not bad, but not NY Pizza, I prefer to hold my pizza, and not have to use a knife and fork. 2. Chicago Hot Dog, too much going on there, is it necessary to have a pickle and tomato on top of the dog? I don’t think so. 3. Reagle Beagle, lovely ode to Three’s Company, and good burgers/fries (Jack Tripper burger and Mr. Furley fries) and cheesy sticks of goodness. … but the award for best culinary treat goes to Miller’s Pub for their awesome onion rings, complete with ranch dressing. Very tasty! But, I ate them so quick, no photographic evidence. ;o)

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