Two Days of ALA Madness – Day Two

  • Sunday I slept through the 8am PR Forum, which is a shame because that was something I was really looking forward to. Sleep was probably a better option for me in the long run, though. So the first session of the day was 10:30am.
  • Titled Partnerships Produce Successful Cultural Programs, put on by the ALA Public Programs Office. This was a great presentation about PPO’s collaboration with the National Library of Medicine in creating travelling exhibitions. The exhibitions Frankenstein and The Changing Face of Medicine have been to academic, public, and school libraries around the country. I thought it was a fantastic idea for collaboration. Listening to the librarians talk about the success of the exhibits, which were displayed for eight weeks along with library-sponsored lectures, discussion groups, and film viewings, was inspiring. I also found it interesting that this was something taking place in large academic libraries as well as public libraries. It seems that academic libraries have the opportunity to be cultural centers on campus, and to offer extended educational programs to their students and the greater community. Most academic libraries don’t seem to take advantage of this; much of it could be due to the time constraints and budget cuts – creating these sorts of programs is not a priority. But it could be well worth the time; it could gain the library greater prominence on campus as well as increase campus support.
  • Went to lunch with co-worker Brenna and fellow student Paula at an Irish Pub. good food but took a very long time to be served.
  • Headed over to program Crossing the K-12/College Divide. Picked up the handouts and the presentation was interesting, talking about ways the Maricopa Community College district has reached out to highschools and their students. But I only made it through 20 minutes before getting extremely tired and not feeling so good, so I headed back to the hotel for a nap. Knowing I had a long night ahead of me I really appreciated that 2 hours of sleep.
  • Woke up and got ready, then went with Brenna for a glass of wine at the hotel bar before walking over to the NMRT reception. Ran a few minutes late, and I blame Bush because 5 blocks were closed because he was at the Ford Theater and we had to take the long way to the Hyatt. Got to the reception and heard people from different ALA affiliations, then – Hooray! – LSO was presented with our Student Chapter of the Year Award. A big group of LSO Officers from 06-07 got up there and NMRT’s Terry Buckner presented our award. It was very cool to be recognized for all our hard work.

Chapter of the Year Award

  • Leslie Kent Kunkel, SIRLS Assistant Director, very generously treated us all to drinks at the Hyatt’s Martini Lounge. We then went back downstairs for the NMRT/3M Reception where free food and drinks were enjoyed as well as some dancing. I also got to see two friends I’d met in Prague, Emily from UNC and Kim from D.C. A very fun celebratory evening.

Kim from LOC, Emily from UNC, and myself

  • Soon after 11pm most people had to leave to catch the Sunday metro. I went back to the hotel bar where I met one of my roommates, then Paula joined us and later Marissa (Illinois) and Xima (Santa Barbara) who were SIRLS grads and some of their friends. Another very late night, but it was great seeing people I don’t otherwise get a chance to see.

Overall a good conference experience. I squeezed in some good programs as well as networking opportunities. Don’t know if I’d want to do the conference in two days again, but if it’s that or nothing it’s well worth it.

Quick notes on the woes of travel the next day:
Woke up Monday, went to breakfast with my roomies at the Waffle Shop, then took the Metro to Union Station where I had to wait around for an hour but caught the train to BWI. Big mess at the airport with confusion over my ticket, and made my flight by with just 5 minutes to spare. Then sat on the runway for an hour and half before take-off, watching the ridiculously awful film Wild Hogs. Landed in Dallas at 5:25, the moment the flight back to Tucson was supposed to take-off. Fortunately, I thought at the time at least, it was delayed an hour. Then it was delayed another hour. Delayed until almost 9 then it’s announced the flight is cancelled. Luckily Shelley and Pat from my library were on the same boat as me. We got on standby for the next flight out – 75 people on standby we didn’t stand a chance. That flight gets delayed until 10:45. In the meantime we got some guacamole and drinks at an airport restaurant. Didn’t get on the next flight, of course. Transferred to standby for another flight and actually made it – wahoo! We were very close to staying overnight in the hotel and leaving at the 1pm flight the next day. Made it back to Tucson but our luggage didn’t (fortunately it arrived the next day). Finally got home in bed 2am and boy did I sleep well.

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3 thoughts on “Two Days of ALA Madness – Day Two

  1. Great posts. I wasn’t able to attend (in the midst of summer school) but your posts were a unique perspective on the conference.

    Assuming this was your first big conference, what were your expectations going in? Were there things that impressed, surprised or disappointed you?

    Thanks

  2. Thanks, Stephen. I actually was fortunate enough to attend ALA last year as well, in New Orleans. So there were no big surprises for me. But since you asked, here’s what I can say from the two experiences:

    IMPRESSED – Go to the lunches and the receptions and other celebratory events. As well as saving you money on restaurants, they are great opportunities to network with people from around the country. The Exhibit Hall is vast and there’s no way you can see everything there (unless you have 4 hours to spare…) so decide which ones you want to see. Take the free pens, they want you to 🙂

    SURPISED – Some people don’t realize the hotels are not all in walking distance. The vastness of the conference in New Orleans was overwhelming to me. Now I know to plan ahead where l have to go, and have back-ups for the sessions because they might be cancelled, too crowded, or difficult to get to.

    DISAPPOINTED – There’s not enough time to go to everything you want to go to! Especially I found the 1:30-3:00 slots on both Saturday and Sunday were packed with great sessions. Makes it hard to pick. Also, I originally signed up for 5 sessions in one day now realize 3 is plenty. If you know others attending have them go to another session so you can exchange notes later. I got lucky with the location of my hotel this year but last year I had to do a whole lot of walking and shuttle-taking. Watch out for that; some of the shuttles stop running before you want to head back to the hotel and you have to either pay a whole lot for a cab or miss the evening party.

  3. Thanks so much for the Annual wrap up. I think your advice in this comment is great and deserves a post before either Philly or Anaheim. And a link / excerpt on the Annual wiki.

    Glad it was a good conference for you. – john

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