Recap of ALA Annual 2015

I’m back from an awesome trip to San Francisco for ALA Annual 2015! While I’m still mulling things over, I think it was my favorite ALA conference so far. Why?

1) The People: I meet some new people and got to visit with colleagues and former classmates I hadn’t seen in a while. I attended several social events to reach out more, and that effort was totally worth it! One of them was the NMRT Student Reception. While I’m no longer a student (I graduated in December), I was chair of the committee that organized the reception this year. I was really happy with the turnout, and the attendees seemed to have a good time! I also enjoyed meeting with Rachel H. about getting involved in the North Carolina Library Association in the year ahead. Catching up with Beth, Orolando, and Kourtney, former library school classmates, was also a treat!

2) The Programs: I attended several programs and sessions that I enjoyed. One of my favorites was a panel called, “Telling Your Story: Why Technical Services Matters.” One of my take-aways was to work on personalizing stories about Technical Services’ worth. Numbers and statistics are important, but personalizing the numbers has additional impact. How are patrons affected? What’s the impact on employees? I’m really looking forward to reading one of the books I learned about in this session, Organizational Storytelling for Librarians: Using Stories for Effective Leadership, by Kate Marek.

View of Downtown San Francisco from The View Lounge

View of Downtown San Francisco from The View Lounge

3) Location: I loved being back in San Francisco for the first time in about 20 years! Although I was pretty busy with the conference, I really enjoyed doing some exploring, thanks in part to conference programs and meetings in four different hotels plus the Moscone Center.  I also enjoyed the nearby Yerba Buena Gardens, as well as yummy meals at La Mar (with my sister and her family–fun!!) and Samovar Tea Lounge.