08 July 2013

ALA Part One: The Peripherals

There is no possible way for me to write about ALA Annual in Chicago in one blog post. Actually, I probably could, but the tome would weigh on the internet heavily, so I think a few posts about the big things that stuck with me would be best.

Did I mention this was my first ALA Conference? And that I was a presenter? Not once but twice? When I do things, I tend to dive right in!

I did take a little leisure time ahead of ALA. I flew into Chicago the Monday before and drove to Indiana to visit a dear friend, which is always wonderful to do. Then I headed back up to Chicago on Thursday and stayed with my friend Carolyn (@papersquared on Twitter), who was one of my co-presenters for my second presentation. We also picked up Katie Fortney (@kfortney) from the airport after a bit of a delay.

My swanky hotel room!

We even had a balcony. It was a long way down.

Friday was registration day! But first the all-important coffee and then breakfast at Xoco, where I met Cory (@helenstwin), Erika (@librarianearp), and Julie (@himissjulie). Xoco is a fabulous place to eat, and their spiced hot chocolate is yummy. The conference was held at the McCormick Center, which is this expansive behomoth of a conference center. However registration was quick, and since the exhibits were not open yet it was still kind of quiet in the center.

The ribbons, they were starting. 

You know what I forgot to do? Take a lot of pictures. No, I am not kidding. Yes, I took a bunch, but it seems that reviewing them now I don't have many general ones that really take in the space itself. The McCormick wasn't horrible, but it was so huge that trying to find rooms, especially with the North & South designations, weren't always easy.  

RUSA 101 was hopping

One thing I did attend on Friday was RUSA 101. I am not currently a member, but since collection development is a big part of my job, and one of my passions, it was an easy choice. I didn't have a chance to talk to anyone from CODES (the collection development and services subcommittee) but I am pretty sure this will be one group I am joining.

I see @stevelibrarian! And @popcullibrarian!

And @rachel_nk! 

And @papersquared!

However, Friday was the Circulating Ideas Dinner - which was more of a get-together than a dinner, but there were drinks, and food, and fabulousness. SO many fabulous people were there, ones that I feel I knew already because we all talk on Twitter. From there we traveled down to the Stacked/KidLit Party, where I met MORE fabulous librarians, including Kelly (@catagator), who was another one of my co-presenters.

Did I mention that this week was the first time I met all of my co-presenters in person? The wonders of technology...

So Friday was a great start to the conference, but Saturday was the big day - my presentations!

And that is a whole other post...