I’m back! I had a wonderful time presenting our poster at the Social Sciences section. I was a little over ambitious, I came with 100 handouts and could have gotten by with 50 but I met many wonderful people and even ran into a librarian from Rutgers, so nice to see someone connected to my program. My sister went with me to Chicago and we had a great time sight seeing before the conference began. If you’re interested feel free to look through some photos of the Shedd Aquarium, Field Museum (natural history), Adler Planetarium, and the Art Institute. It was my first visit to Chicago and while the humidity was killing me, we were in a very walk-able part of the city. The walk from the hotel to the convention center was about 2 miles, which is nice in the morning but in midday it could be problematic. I also caught a terrible cold that would not go away! I thought I was nearly immune to everything, but apparently that’s only for California bugs, Illinois bugs see me as fair game. Add to that, when I came back to work our catalog and entire system were down and the ILL system was running slowly because of the file migration. So I need to travel more to become immune to everything but I can’t travel because work will fall apart without me. 😀 I have finished typing up my notes and finally distributed them to my co-workers, which is how I have time to (finally) post this afternoon).
After going to both ALA and SLA, I’m not sure which one I prefer, they are very different. I liked the size of SLA it felt much more intimate, there weren’t as many vendors and it was a little more formal. I participated in the Twitter feeds more (look for the #SLAChicago tweets for an idea of the conversation) which were either more lively or felt so to me because I’m still getting the hang of Twitter. ALA has ARCs which are nice (review should be up for another book next week) and a greater variety of panels to attend. However, I preferred the round table discussions at SLA to the ones at ALA. Although both ALA and SLA have librarians coming from a highly diverse background I think many of the SLA attendees are in similar situations to each other – eg. many special libraries tend to be smaller so the librarian has to wear more hats and be highly specialized at the same time. ALA was a little more difficult for me to navigate and network despite the fact that I had a mentor, but I think part of that may be that it was my first national professional conference.
Now that I’m getting a feel for professional development beyond coursework, I look forward to attending both conferences again next year. I’m applying for the ALA’s Emerging Leader’s program, so please send good thoughts my way and cross your fingers. SLA is going to be in San Diego. I should be able to keep up with multiple conferences a year if they keep hosting things in California, but I suppose that wouldn’t be fair. I am also writing up a presentation proposal for a small seminar in the fall. I have signed up for a Coursea class on Internet Technology (I was going to take SiFi and Fantasy Lit and Listening to World music as well but I think I may just audit those since my MLIS classes start up again at the start of September and I want to enjoy my last month). I’ve heard from the Generation Why Librarian that she will be submitting a poster proposal for ASIST and I’ll be helping with that since we’re happy with how our SLA poster turned out. I spoke with several people about perhaps publishing an article at the poster session so I’ll start on abstracts for that as well.
Thanks for reading and waiting for me to recover. Next week posts should resume as usual. I have some great online tools from ALA to cover for you and a book review from one of the advanced readers. I’ve also recently started chain listening to the History Chicks podcasts so I may have to do another quick picks review on podcasts as well.