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Thursday, July 16, 2009

ALA Report: Random Thoughts and Comments

While I was at the ALA Annual Conference, I was constantly jotting down notes. I have pulled out a few of the more useful thoughts to share here.
  1. Although I LOVE Neil Gaiman, is it really worth the money of the tax payers of Berwyn, IL for me to stand in line for 2-3 hours to get his autograph? Instead of waiting my turn to get a personalized, hand-drawn picture and signature from one of my favorite authors, I just stood near him for a short time, staring, and definitely not stalking.
  2. But, it is worth the money of those same taxpayers for me to roam the exhibit hall floor looking for free copies of novels by new or little known authors and to wait in 15 minute lines to get free copies of books by said authors signed for the library.
  3. I saw many of my former students wandering around the convention center, many of whom were coming on their own time. I was heartened to see them all taking the initiative to spend a day on the exhibition floor in order to better themselves professionally.
  4. When you are at any conference, try something new. Go to a class or a seminar in something outside your field of expertise, or visit a booth that has nothing to do with your line of work and ask some questions. You will have a chance to see things in a new way.
  5. Don't forget to visit the Poster Sessions. They are interesting and inspiring. Kathy and I saw a great one by Catherine Ingram of Elmhurst (IL) Public Library entitled: "Face Out- Marketing Your Collection on the Cheap." We left it throwing around many new ideas.
  6. Junot Diaz may have won the Pulitzer Prize, but he definitely needs a better assistant, since he stood us all up. His excuse? He had the day wrong. Hey, Charlaine Harris made it.
  7. Finally, I loved the chances I got to talk with dozens of librarians from all over the country and the world.
If you have a chance to go to any library conference I suggest you go and see for yourself how helpful it can be.

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