ALA Annual Conference 2017

I’m back from the ALA Annual Conference, which was held in Chicago this year! I had a great time, and am so glad I went!

Here are some of my highlights:

Several of my meeting slots were taken up by NMRT (New Members Round Table) meetings and events. I’ve been Treasurer-elect/Assistant Treasurer this past year, and now I’m transitioning into the Treasurer position. So I attended the NMRT Board Meeting, as well as the ALA Budget and Planning Assembly. I also got to meet the outgoing Treasurer, Easter, for the first time, and that was fun! Easter and I have been emailing and talking on the phone for the past year, so it was super to meet her in person and talk NMRT budget stuff.

I also attended the annual NMRT Social and Awards Reception, held at Ditka’s. It turned out to be a very nice location for our soirée, and a fun time was had by all! (Hats off to Rachael for organizing this fun NMRT event!)

I also attended a session called “Redesigning Technical Services for the 21st Century: A Case Study from the University of Alabama Libraries.” It was an interesting presentation to a standing-room-only crowd. I enjoyed hearing their stories, since the Tech Services Division where I work is going through a reorganization of well.

While I rarely visit the Exhibit Hall during conferences, I went this time to meet one of my favorite mystery writers, Susan M. Boyer! She was scheduled to sign books at the Sisters in Crime booth at a specific time, so I stopped by to say hello! It was so much fun meeting her!

donna

Donna Herula at Buddy Guy’s Legends

On the non-conference side of things, I enjoyed a couple of dinners out. One was at a place called Buddy Guy’s Legends, a blues club that happened to be near my hotel. I got to hear live blues music (Donna Herula on guitar this time) over a plate of yummy shrimp creole!

Another evening, I met up with a group for Chicago-style deep dish pizza. I organized the group in a Facebook group of librarians coming to ALA Annual, and we met up at Lou Malnati’s. The pizza was yummy, and the group had a fun time! It was a nice opportunity to meet some Facebook friends, to boot!

All in all, I had a super time at ALA Annual and in Chicago! My NMRT treasurer duties will take me to Denver in January, and I can’t wait!

 

 

 

Count Down to ALA Midwinter

39962602-skyline-of-downtown-atlanta-georgia-usaI’m heading to Atlanta in couple of days for the ALA Midwinter Meeting. I was thankful for the long weekend (due to the MLK holiday) to run pre-trip errands and start organizing my stuff. Count on me to overpack, but I’m driving, so that’s okay!

Most of my meetings will revolve around NMRT meetings and activities, since I’ve started my 3-year term as NMRT Treasurer-Elect/Treasurer. I’ve added a few more goodies to my schedule, though, including a reception at the Georgia Acquarium! A vendor smartly secured this neat location for their reception, and I bet there will be a good turnout.

As an added bonus, the Atlanta Falcons won their NFL Playoff game this past weekend, so they’ll be playing again this coming Sunday in Atlanta, next to the conference center where a bulk of the ALA Midwinter stuff will be taking place. There’s an 80% chance of rain in the forecast, to boot! While I don’t follow pro football, I must admit I’m looking forward to the extra buzz while we’re in town. I’m thankful I already have a hotel room, though!

Orlando Bound!

castleI’m excited about heading to Orlando later this week for the ALA Annual Conference! I haven’t been to Orlando in about 30 years, not since Spring Break of my senior year of college. Wow. Unfortunately, I won’t make it to Disney World this time, since I’ll be busy with conference meetings and programs, mostly having to do with my election as the incoming Treasurer-elect of the ALA New Members Round Table (NMRT).

Since I’m driving, I loaded up on audiobooks from Audible. I’m hopeful that they’ll keep me entertained!

 

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.

Serving on Committees

This morning, I got my first committee appointment for the coming ALA (American Library Association) year (starting June 30). I was happy to get it, as I’ve been thinking more about ALA committee involvement after graduate school, and that committee was one of my top choices. Things continue to feel and look different in this first post-graduate-school semester. I’m thinking more about how I spend my time (at and away from work), as well as how I spend my professional development dollars. No more student rates, which I really enjoyed for ALA and NCLA membership and conference attendance during grad school. The student rates were great, in large part because I was able to explore different ALA divisions pretty inexpensively. Now I’m feeling a little more focused, particularly as I think about my budget! (My employer doesn’t pick up the cost of ALA and NCLA membership.) Yes, I still want to explore, but not necessarily all at one time!

Meanwhile, I’m thinking about other committee opportunities at the NCLA and university/library level.  I need to find out more about what’s out there!