Greetings and salutations!
I hope that everyone reading this is doing well, and that my fellow attendees all made it home without incident.
So, what have I been up to?
June 12, 2010 I attended graduation at Drexel University and got to meet some of my fellow students, hurrah!
I also spent several days exploring Philladelphia with my husband, guided by my aunt and cousins before visiting Missy Harvey, the Computer Science Librarian for the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries in Pittsburgh. We moved on to Harrisburg to visit the National Civil War Museum, which I highly recommend seeing, and Gettysburg. After that we moved on to New York, NY to visit my step-son and one of my oldest friends, and then turned south to Delaware. I realized from the signage that I was near the University of Delaware and gave myself an impromptu campus and library tour, they have an awesome audio/video center in their library! We spent a few days in Maryland relaxing with some friends, and then moved on to D.C. for ALA 2010.
A Few Washington, D.C. Highlights
Revisiting Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum (Twice!)
What can I say, you can’t take the science out of the girl and I always adore seeing the new takes on the NASA display and all the other changes, it really did take two visits to see all the new stuff and I still didn’t have time to see one of their IMAX presentations!
Spectrum Professional Options Fair
This event is part of the Spectrum Leadership Institute, I was there as a representative of ACRL’s Residency Interest Group. The purpose of the event is for Spectrum Scholars to learn about various career paths and professional groups, and to provide general networking for them as well. My group passed out flyers, business cards, pointed people toward other groups of interest at the institute and generally had a good time promoting Residencies, scholarship and mentoring opportunities, and librarianship.
ARL’s 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Intitative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce
As an ARL Diversity Scholar I was asked to attend this lunch celebration of the Initiative to Recruit a Diverse Workforce. I showed up early to help setup with my husband and we helped out and generally had a good time. Not only was the food excellent, but the speakers were as well. I was particularly proud of my fellow 2009-2011 Diversity Scholar Jeff Cruz’s speech. Jeff also challenged us to see which of us would become the first ARL director. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a multi-way tie in the end, good luck to us all!
Sunday – Best day! I’ll do a separate post on this next week 🙂
Monday as I wandered in tired and without a plan and only 2 hours to spare, I had the good fortune to run into Brian Leaf who suggested I go to a session with him on privacy issues. I’m not sure what the name of the session was but I really enjoyed one of the speakers analogy for privacy issues, a black box sitting on a rotting net with a flag.
As per usual there was the usual assortment of people watching and free books. I was especially impressed by the determination of the woman who brought her daughter to sit with bags and had 8 bags of books within about 30 minutes of the exhibits opening. I myself snagged 8 which looked interesting, and even managed to snag a free copy of a book being sold Saturday by staring rather wistfully at a book as they were closing the signing and mentioning that I had the first book at which point the vendor gave it to me for free and I was the last person to have their book signed 🙂
I was disappointed in the selection of science related vendors, even the vendors with science products were not nearly as helpful as I had met at midwinter. To that I say, science people want convention attention too! If I ask about your science products and you are a representative for your vendor telling me you don’t have any handouts and only know that name of the products makes me wonder if you really want me to buy them.
In contrast I was very pleased to speak with the people from the Oxford University Press they were very helpful, interesting, and I learned about new products which were in my area of interest. I was also very happy to meet up with Dave, Ryan, and the rest of the Mango Languages crew, if you haven’t tried their product yet see if you have access through your library and check them out! I really love how they not only have lessons for English speakers to learn foreign languages, but also English as a second language lessons. (No I am not affiliated with them, I just like their product and want it to continue succeeding so I can continue using it!)
I really enjoyed the chance to see what people were doing to improve their libraries and their services. I really enjoyed the opportunity to connect with other librarians and discover people with similar interest and specialties who I hope to collaborate with in the future. Talks and presentations are useful, but if you don’t drop by the poster sessions when you can you’re missing a fun and highly useful opportunity to connect with your peers/future colleagues/future bosses. Most interesting poster has to go to the librarians that created a virtual tour using adapted dolls, some model props, and photos to simulate a library tour for online students in a video clip. I also loved hearing about successful scavenger hunt strategies and brain storming for overnight mystery events in libraries.
All in all I had a great time, met great people, and learned a lot, if you have a chance to attend a convention I highly encourage you to go.
Attended ALA 2010 in D.C.? What were your highlights?