Back from ALA Midwinter in Denver


Me in front of the Big Blue Bear

I really enjoyed the ALA Midwinter Meeting in Denver last weekend! Most of my time was spent in New Members Round Table (NMRT) meetings, but I enjoyed seeing a bit of Denver too! I stayed in a hotel right across from the Colorado Convention Center, which was so convenient. One of the most intriguing things about this convention center is that there’s a big bear statue outside (looking in!) It’s quite the attraction, and lots of people took photos of it, both inside and outside the convention center, while I was there. It snowed one day, which is when I took the photo of me (to the left) with the Big Blue Bear in the background.

In addition to NMRT meetings, I attended the Planning and Budget Assembly meeting, which gives a big picture of the ALA (American Library Association) budget. In addition, I organized a TweetUp–but no one stopped by. Planning was quick and publicity was small, so I wasn’t sure anyone would show up. I’ll think about trying a TweetUp at another ALA conference when I have time for more planning and publicity.

I enjoyed several meals with old friends, and met some new people too, always fun! The next ALA conference is ALA Annual 2018 in New Orleans.


My First ALA Election

money-bag-greenI ran in my first American Library Association (ALA) election this year, for the position of New Members Round Table┬á(NMRT) Treasurer-elect. Results were announced on Friday, and I’m happy to report that I won! In the spirit of full disclosure, I didn’t have an opponent, but there was a place for voters to add a write-in candidate, and there was one (I don’t know who). So, I came away with 99.6% of the vote, which is okay! ­čÖé

My term starts this July 1, and will last three years: one year as treasurer-elect, then two years as treasurer. I’m looking forward to working with the rest of the NMRT board, and will learn all I can about taking good care of the NMRT budget. I’ll attend ALA Annual this summer in Orlando, where I’ll get to sit in on some NMRT meetings as an observer, and hopefully meet the current NMRT treasurer.


Going to ALA Annual!

AC16_ImAttending_0I learned recently that I’m getting some funding from work to attend the ALA Annual Conference in late June, and I’m really excited! It’s in Orlando this time, and while Orlando isn’t a favorite conference town among some librarians I know, I’m looking forward to going. I haven’t been to Orlando since my senior year in college, and while this visit will be mostly business, I’m hoping I can visit something touristy (yes, like Disney World) while I’m there! My conference schedule looks like it’ll be quite busy, and Disney World tickets are pretty pricey, but we’ll see.

If you have any tips for my brief┬ástay in Orlando, I’ve love your advice in the comments section!


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.┬á 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.

ACRL 2015 in Portland, Oregon

I attended my first ACRL conference last weekend in Portland, Oregon. It was a really good experience, so I’m glad I made the trip!

I participated in my first panel, which was my main point in going. There was a decent turnout for our panel, especially for the last time slot of the day, 4-5pm. I felt like my part was less polished than the others, but I did get some nice feedback from an attendee afterward. (I’m looking forward to getting involved in Toastmasters again to polish my public speaking skills!)

Librarians like to socialize at library conferences, I’ve learned, and I did enjoy three different evening events. The first was the ACRL Chair’s Reception on Thursday night at the Left Bank Annex. Friday night, I attended the Hack Library School Blog Meetup at White Owl Social Club, then went to the All-Conference Reception at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. I met several new people and exchanged some business cards. Good networking and yummy food!

On Saturday, I enjoyed playing tourist in Portland! Saturday morning, I went to Powell’s, a famous bookstore in Portland, where I enjoyed browsing and made a few purchases. After lunch at Deschutes, a local pug and brewery, I visited the Portland Art Museum, which had a special exhibit on Italian fashion since 1945. Since I’m studying Italian on my own, I really enjoyed this exhibit!

On Saturday evening, I enjoyed a fun dinner with my cousin Melanie and her family at E-San Thai, where I had a yummy Pumpkin Curry dish. It was a great way to end my trip!

ALA Midwinter 2015 in the Books

Last weekendm I attended ALA Midwinter in Chicago, and, I must say, it was a really good conference for me! I attended some interesting sessions, which ranged from panels to programs to roundtable discussions. Topics ranged from electronic resources to middle management issues to leadership development. I also enjoyed seeing colleagues from previous jobs as well as from Duke, as well as librarians I’ve met at previous conferences. Meal times turned into a great time to catch up with old friends and meet new people. (For two different meals, I shared a table with librarians I met “in the moment,” who also needed a place to sit. Loved that serendipity!)

Snow Outside McCormick Place, Chicago

Snow Outside McCormick Place, Chicago

On Sunday, a big snow came in, dumping a number of inches of the white stuff on the ground! Fortunately, I stayed in the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place, which is connected to the convention center, also called McCormick Place. I was glad to be able to stay inside for my conference activities, since I’m not a polar bear! The snow was lovely, though!

I didn’t get to do any tourist activities this time, as I’d hoped, but I look forward to returning to Chicago in the future!

One of several highlights of my trip happened Friday morning, while I was waiting at the gate at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport for my airplane. I recognized Garrison Keillor walk by and have a seat at my gate! I texted George, who encouraged me to say hello to him. I did, and he shook my hand. It was over in a flash, but it was fun to meet him!

Getting Ready for ALA Midwinter 2015



I’m getting ready for my first ALA conference as a non-student! I graduated from NCCU SLIS just last month, and although I’ve been to ALA before, and I’ve been working in libraries for quite a while, this feels somewhat different. I’m thinking more (and differently) about the sessions I’ll attend, and I’m making a point of getting together with colleagues as well. Since ALA Midwinter is in Chicago, I’m also planning on bundling up! (Brrr!) I haven’t been to the Windy City since I was a teenager, so I’m really looking forward to the quick visit!