Monday, June 30, 2008

3rd Day at ALA: Sunday

The day began with a very tasty breakfast for the EBSCO award winners. I got to meet the other winners, including some from NMRT. The organizers took a group photo which I was surprised to find the next day in Cognotes as I was flipping through.

My first session of the day was: "Energize your Instruction: Keep the Magic Alive for You and Your Audience." The speaker was very entertaining, but I was hoping for some more concrete tips, and the session was more about inspiration and avoiding burnout.

As I was waiting for my next session, a pirate came by and asked me to attend “Information Privacy: Should anyone care?” However, I had on my schedule “NMRT All Committee Meeting." I was hoping to talk to the people on the Orientation committee about my thoughts from yesterday, but none were in attendance. I did meet some other NMRT members, including the incoming president, and found out a little more about NMRT, so it was definitely worth my time.

Next I went to the LITA President’s Program – “Isn’t it Great to be in the Library . . . Wherever that is?” I have really enjoyed some of Joseph Janes' writing in the past, and he was very entertaining in person. He spoke about changing ideas about what a library is and a panel discussion afterward expanded on some of these ideas. One of my favorite parts was he showed a picture of a reference desk and asked what it was. He pointed out that the photo was taken in 1906 and not much has changed, but a 2008 photo of an operating room would look a lot different.

I also went to the President's Reception outside since the ALA Liaison to the EBSCO awards had suggested it, and I ended up having a great conversation with a librarian who is very involved in NMRT, which was great! She gave me lots of great advice. I was so happy.

The evening ended with the 3M/NMRT Social. It was the most fun I had had at the 2007 Conference, and it did not disappoint. An excellent time was had by all.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

2nd Day at ALA: Saturday

By the second day of ALA, I was very envious of those with Mac Airs. My laptop is three years old and not a brick, but a little too heavy to carry around all day. My laptop bag was also starting to fall apart, despite being a good brand. Convention center wireless was working great, but some meetings are held in hotels, and the Hilton, for one, makes you pay for the wireless. :-( Needless to say, I didn't. I also began to wish I had brought my cord for downloading and uploading my conference photos, which may have to be posted after I get home.

I forgot to mention that the first evening I found the display with the EBSCO award winners' photos. It was pretty exciting to see my name and picture along with everyone else's.

I began the day by working at the NMRT Conference Orientation. I helped set up and then handed out tote bags. Seeing the conference newbies and hearing their questions reminded me of how disoriented I was last year at my first conference. I feel much better this year. I'm on the NMRT Orientation committee, and I am trying to decide if I should re-join for this year or try another committee. If I work on Orientation next year I'm going to suggest that we signal the speakers when their time is going to be up and when it's over. I also thought it was great that the LITA rep brought a sign. This was so smart (later I realized that it was one of their fans that they were giving away at the booth). I think they should all bring signs or we should make some for them. I also think the door people should really be prepared to be friendly and answer all kinds of questions about where things are and how the speakers are going to be presented. New attendees are so stressed out that it's important to be both well-informed and encouraging to those who attend (or are even just passing by on their way to a different session).

I then went to my first session on NMRT Resume Review and Mentoring Programs. I remember last year I used the service and was very happy with the advice and encouragement of the academic librarian who looked at my resume. The one thing I wasn't happy with was that the promo for the service made it sound like it was drop-in rather than appointment only. I've noticed that it is the same this year, and since I'll be servicing as a booth greeter on Monday, I'm wondering if I will encounter reviewees who are also confused. The presenters at this session used the term "Conference Anxiety," which is a good one. They explained the history and organization of both these programs (both of which I've used), and said that in the future they are planning to have the resume service be completely web-based to eliminate the intermediary. That sounds excellent.

The first thing on my agenda was the NMRT President's Program/Membership Meeting. The first part of the session was "International Insights for New Librarians" and then the second part was the meeting. I took copious notes since I'll be writing about this for the NMRT newsletter, Footnotes, so I'll save my summary for that venue.

Next I went to a session on Extreme Customer Service. This was heavy on the humor/entertainment value and light on the specifics, but I enjoyed it. They used the term: "The Platinum Rule." Instead of the golden rule of treat others the way you want to be treated, it's treat others the way THEY want to be treated. This also came up again a session on Sunday.

In the evening I have to admit that I didn't do much of anything. I took a swim in the hotel (motel?) pool and caught up on some of that sleep I've been missing in the last few days.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

First day ALA Annual Conference 2008

I knew I was having a good time at the conference when I realized that I'd been awake for almost 21 hours and wasn't the least bit tired.

The day started by waking very early for a red-eye flight. A pain, but it meant with the time change that I still had plenty of time to enjoy the day. Anaheim, California seems like a combination of Singapore and Japan. Very topical, but also kind of scarily nice nice. The Disney influence is very evident. My Travelodge hotel is definitely budget, but it's very close to the convention center, and the wireless works great.

I got to the conference in time for the New Members Round Table Conference 101. I didn't want to attend, but I wanted to help out if they needed me. I helped with the tote bag handout and met some of the Conference Committee members I'd been working with over email. Very good to put some faces to the names.

I also went to the NMRT Meet and Greet. I was very happy to see they had food and drink this year. I didn't stay long, though, as it was a little awkward to socialize with people I don't know.

The last and most exciting activity of the evening was the Open Gaming Night. I'd never seen Rock and Roll Hero before. It's Guitar Hero on steriods. There was quite a crowd for that. I played a Wii driving game and DDR, which I love. I had to make myself go home and go to bed.

Monday, June 23, 2008

This Place Matters

After a candlelight vigil for the closing of Buster's pool hall in downtown Lexington, I submitted a photo (thanks to Brian, the photographer) and blurb about the block bordered by Main, Upper, Vine, and Limestone that is threatened with demolition, and it was published today on the This Place Matters website of the National Trust.

The demolition permit hearing for this block is this Wednesday, June 25 at 2pm (people are being asked to arrive at 1:30). Please attend if you can to Preserve Lexington. Let's do everything we can to keep Lexington's history and vibrancy intact.