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!

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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!

 

 

 

ALA Midwinter 2017

I’m back from ALA Midwinter 2017 in Atlanta, where I had a really good conference experience! Atlanta was a busy place this past weekend, with Midwinter, the local Women’s March, and an NFL Playoff game between the Atlanta Falcons and the Green Bay Packers in the Georgia Dome, right next door to our convention center! I enjoyed the extra buzz and energy in the city!

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Small Aquarium in Georgia Aquarium

Most of my meetings and activities were related to NMRT (the ALA New Members Round Table), but I also enjoyed the Elsevier Networking Reception Sunday night at the Georgia Aquarium. As part of the reception, we got to walk around on a self-guided tour, where I saw several people I know and met a fellow Duke alum who works for Elsevier now. One of my favorite parts of the Aquarium was watching the beluga whales, though my photos of them didn’t turn out well.

I also had lunch with a couple of colleagues, which was fun! On Sunday, I ate with a former library school classmate, and we hit the food court at the CNN Center, just before the pre-game influx of Falcon and Packer fans!

This conference experience was a little different for me, as I took my walker with me for assistance with my healing foot sprain. Having a walker for the conference gave me a different perspective on how things (like public restrooms and hotel rooms) are laid out for people with mobility issues. I also had to build in some extra rest time, so I missed some programs I would’ve enjoyed going to. I’m looking forward to the ALA Annual Conference this summer in Chicago!

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!

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 (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! 🙂

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.