Wow, it’s been a seriously long time since I blogged. Oops. You see, I’ve been busy. This bosslady thing? It takes a lot of work.
Anyway, I’ve been meaning to write a “What I really loved about ALA post for a while,” but so many have already been written that I lost my interest in doing another “I LOVED SEEING MY FRIENDS” post. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I really loved seeing a lot of my friends. I loved even more that I didn’t see any of the people that I used to work with two jobs ago that I hate. And don’t any of you act like you don’t have that fear at conference because you know that you do. I also didn’t see anyone that I really hate from the Internet, ALSO A GOOD THING.
Honestly, it’s been a long time since I had this good of an ALA experience. I will admit that usually by day two of the conference I am quite miserable. Most of the sessions I’d go to didn’t teach me anything I didn’t already know, the poster sessions were also great topically but too packed and the exhibitor hall is just a nightmare. ALA is a mess trying to ride buses and get from the convention center back to your hotel and then back again. Oy.
But, this year? This is the new, happier bosslady version of me, right? RIGHT. Also, I went to sessions on leadership and change and listened to the speakers (which I never really did for some reason) and actually I barely went into the Exhibitors area because if I want something, I will just call or e-mail a vendor now. I don’t have time to troll for free pens or ARCs.
So, what was it about this ALA that made me really so happy and proud of my colleagues in this profession of mine? Here are my thoughts:
1. I went to a reception with @heatherlibrary for now President-Elect Courtney Young (@librarycourtney). I have known Courtney since we were baby librarians together and I could not be more proud of her.
2. It was in Chicago. How could you not love Chicago! The city, the people, the shops, the restaurants. All fantastic. I am all for EVERY ALA being in Chicago.
3. I took cabs when I needed to if I was pressed for time. I wasn’t going to schedule an hour to wait and ride a bus. This made me much less stressed. (I know not everyone can do that, but this is about me.)
4. The sessions! I specifically went to sessions where I have an educational/information need instead of where I was most comfortable. Next ALA, I might go sit in on cataloging sessions. This is the way to go, people.
5. I met so many wonderful people that I only knew from the Internet and they were all so fantastic. I think that @jaleh_f may have the same brain as me and it was scary. And @erinaleach was so wonderful. It made my heart sing. And @librarianearp and @unrealsnow came all the way to the hotel bar to drink wine with me and we squeeed! And gossipped. 🙂
6. (I like even numbers). And last but not least, my faith in the future of librarianship may have been completely restored at this ALA because of a few of my new librarian friends. @heatherlibrary made my conference so fantastic every day. She is the director at a public library but she still came to listen to me rant about my academic crap on my panel. She drank with me, she talked with me and we bonded. It was a good thing. @sketchlibrarian is literally the cutest thing ever and I wanted to put her in my pocket and take her home with me. @hilaryjane_, @loudlibrarian22 and @cj3ss were also part of the “restoring faith for WL” crew. I want them all to come and work with me at my library because it would be the most amazing place ever. Their enthusiasm and energy and genuine care for each other was a wonderful thing to experience at this conference. Oh! I also met the infamous @daveyp! He is now my *second* favorite British librarian 🙂
I know there are other people that I met that I didn’t get nearly enough time to talk with (@papersquared!) and there were more sessions that I wanted to go to and I have a whole new stack of things to read and think about. But, I just wanted to put it out there, in case anyone was worried, that the future of librarianship is sound. If I met you and I missed you in this post, I AM SO SORRRRRY!!!!
See you all in Vegas.
PS. Bacon tots are from heaven. Also, I learned to love gin at ALA.