What a totally different experience from my first conference in Chicago in 2009 — if you are curious to see that, check it out here.
Last year, when I went to ALA Annual in DC — I was only there overnight, and I felt guilty about not doing the programs, and just networking and researching. Once again, if interested, check out that post here.
But this year I realized it is the most important aspect of going to ALA — networking and finding people who have that same passion that you do. This has been said numerous times in numerous blogs, but I will say it again!
I was an ALA Emerging Leader this year. I must say that I was fortunate to have a worthwhile project to work on, and a great group of people to work with!
I ended up joining LLAMA and NMRT, and I have volunteered to work with both for next year’s conference and meetings. Yes, I am getting involved and stepping up, which is definitely because I was involved in Emerging Leaders. But the most important takeaway from the Emerging Leaders program, I now have a core group of friends within my profession, and that is more important than any program/session/workshop I attended. One of my team members, Lessa Pelaya Lozada summed up the Emerging Leaders experience pretty well — so I’ll link to her blog post here.
And, I attended quite a few programs, and yes, they were inspiring, especially ACRL’s President’s Program. The speaker, Jason Young, said one of the cheesiest phrases, but it fired me up, and I thought I want to BE that person. Ready for the quote, don’t say I didn’t warn you:
When you inspire someone, you literally breathe life into them
But, as fired up as I was about that session. I got more out of just chatting and sharing ideas over a really powerful daiquiri —
Or mingling with one of my favorite vendors, Mango Languages (in the exhibit hall):
Or even better over an infamous hurricane —
And, this leads me to my favorite lesson from housekeeping lady at my hotel:
girl, don’t you know if you have more than one hurricane, it’s gonna be trouble!
I don’t think I really need to add anything after that gem.. maybe a pic of my book swag. 🙂