I realize that I have been remiss when it comes to posting; however, there are a number of good reasons for that. I finally got a full-time library job after working three jobs for five months. Secondly, with the commute, I often find myself rolling into bed after dinner and not spending as much time online. Finally, well I haven’t had a whole lot to say, which is kind of bizarre because I always feel like I have an opinion.
Apologies out of the way, here’s my take on ALA 2012 in Anaheim. As always, I feel as though I walked a thousand miles over the course of the conference. The exhibit floor always seems to get bigger and longer. Of course this means that there is more swag and good information out there – and more and more vendors are buying into the librarians rule mantra! It was also an eye-opener for me as I had to actually look for specific vendors and not just those with the best giveaways – not that I didn’t keep an eye out for those too. Having to go represent my library and check-in with the vendors means that the carefully planned schedule every librarian/library professional tries to go to ALA with can be ruined in a heartbeat.
I managed to get to two gaming sessions, one by Scott Nicholson and Pauline Lynch-Shostack (my supervisor from my grad school internship), but then I struggled to make many of the FAFLRT and RDA sessions that I wanted to get to. I ultimately did make a session and a half on RDA, but not several other sessions that I was really hoping to get to. Then again, there’s always the session that you’re dying to go to that falls flat – maybe I avoided that one this time….
Back to the vendors, I was able to learn a few things from our vendors, but mostly it was listening to sales pitches for items and services that my library already has. I did learn that my library has access to a smoother designed Internet-based circ system if we want; however, it will not affect the rest of the ILS and I don’t know if we will all want to have to relearn this “simpler” system. Another eye-opener, one of our vendors has a new database that we didn’t know about that might fit our mission, but of course it is not my call… I only have minimal input.
As always, the librarians had a good time. The ALAPlay event put on by GAMERT and the Graphic Novels folks was a blast. It was great to see so many people interacting with people that they didn’t know – and even the jousting going on at the front of the ballroom. A number of people played the very successful first-time interactive game “I’m not the droid you’re looking for”. I had fun, but I kept confusing YALSA and Mango badges for the game badges from a distance and I know a few people who were looking at me strangely. I don’t think that they understood what was going on… On the other hand, I know I sound stupid going around saying “Krxxxt…. Datacard” on the exhibit floor – I definitely got some strange looks there! I also went to the Proquest scholarship bash – the final conference of the Rock Bottom Remainders. This is (was) a band made up of literary folk like Steven King, Mitch Albom, Amy Tan, Ridley Pearson and others along with a handful of musicians and some other luminaries like Matt Groening and Roy Blount Jr. This group was rocking pretty well – and then… they brought out Roger McGuinn (of the Byrds and Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer) to play and sing with them. First song – Mr. Tamborine Man…. That really got the librarians rocking (and wild)!
While I did not get tickets to any of the awards dinners – I heard that all were great, especially the new Carnegie awards. I do know that there is too much to do at ALA and it is very easy to fall apart because you do not get enough rest – lesson learned in the past, so I had no desire to repeat it this year. I can’t say that I got a lot of rest though, since kids and drunks abound near Disneyland, but that’s another story for another day…
All in all, it was a great conference and I got a lot of books (even without too many of the ubiquitous YA books) that I had to ship home. As I draft this, I can only hope that my packages are safely traveling home; however, given my success with on-time transportation thus far… well, I’ll leave it up to other beings.
I hope that I will be updating my blog more frequently as I adapt to my new job and hours…