Here's a brief rundown of my ALA Annual Convention that I posted on nexgenlib. If anyone wants me to elaborate or has questions, feel free to ask!
On Friday, I goofed off and went to Kennedy Space Center. When we got back I made a brief stop at the NMRT get together then hung out with a friend of mine from my undergrad days for a while.
I attended the "Service, Disney Style" on Saturday morning. The protesters were very polite and I took their flier and read it. It made some excellent points but I was too curious about Disney to stay away. The session was very interesting (if somewhat creepy).
Next I hit the NMRT Membership meeting, which was less a meeting and more a job search seminar. I grabbed relevant handouts, then left early to go to another job search seminar. I was going to go to the NMRT President's program after that, but I decided lunch and exhibits were more tempting.
I went to the Saturday afternoon ALA Membership I meeting about activism. It was quite interesting. I'm pretty liberal and I'm all
for taking a position on issues that affect libraries like CIPA and Patriot Act, but the activists at this meeting mostly wanted ALA to
take stands on things like torture and the war in Iraq. I just didn't feel like we needed to go that far, and I'm well aware that ALA's stances on issues are already pusing librarians away. I kept wanting to offer my opinion, but there were lots of others also voicing their thoughts and they usually prefaced them by saying "as a 30 year member of ALA" or "as a 25 year member of ALA," which made this newbie feel a bit unwelcome.
After that, I attended the opening session with Richard Clarke (and cheered loudly when Sandy Berman got his award!). I felt that the
opening session was another example of how ALA's activism could turn people off. I'm a liberal, like I said, but I would have preferred a
keynote that talked about issues in libraries and librarianship rather than what Bush is doing wrong in the fight against terrorism.
The Scholarship Bash was super cool. There were nearly no lines so we got to go on every ride except Earthquake (I chose Twister instead at the last minute which was totally lame).
Sunday I attended a session on recruiting new academic librarians. I was glad to see a good turnout of us younguns, saying that we're right
here looking for jobs and there was no need to worry about recruitment.
In the afternoon I got a start on the committee I'm chairing. In the evening I attended the NMRT Social, which was a blast.
Monday morning I went to the NMRT Leadership Workshop entitled: FISH! Catch the Energy, Release the Potential. It was a fun program based on the Pike Place Fish Market's customer service philosophy. I'm not sure why customer service = leadership, but it was worthwhile in any case.
I also attended ALA Membership II on Monday. This session dealt with ALA's strategic plan. They had us break down into small groups and
discuss what we thought would be important in ten years. Again, we had some new librarians who wanted to make sure the need for more librarians was not overstated.
I finished up the day with the PLA President's program's keynote, Carl Hiaasen. He is a super amusing guy with lots of insights into Florida. The only better speaker I could have imagined would be Dave Barry.
The next day I went to Disney World, but I'm sure no one wants to hear about that! :-)