Professional Development

Elizabeth Experiencing ALA for the First Time

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 9:27 am

I attended my first ALA Conference weekend before last in Anaheim, CA. Before arriving I tried to keep an open mind without any agenda or pre-conceived expectations. I just wanted to “experience” this annual librarian event. Turns out I wasn’t the only one thinking about experiences. If I could select one word (and obviously I am) to describe the conference, the state and future of the library, and my personal perspective, “experience” is the word that keeps popping into my mind.

I attended several LITA programs – on Distance Education, Social Showcase, and the President’s Program. (for more details on these programs see Lauren’s blog, seems silly to repeat good summaries) I found them all informative, but even more so I found people who inspired me with their thoughts, ideas and passions for the library and its users. Throughout these three programs we talked about the library not as just a place or service, but also as an experience. One LITA member used the Harley Davidson Motorcycle’s website as an example. The website’s not about buying a motorcycle, but about the experience of owning a motorcycle and all the things you can do with it. Isn’t a library similar? We have tangible resources and services, but maybe it’s the intangible experience of finding and using those resources and the services offered that makes the library unique. As the library moves more and more outside its traditional brick and mortar walls, the experience is central to the users. Whether they are at a remote location chatting via IM with a reference librarian, searching a database or sipping coffee with their friends in the cafe aren’t they “in” or “experiencing” the library? I wonder if this would be something to incorporate into the marketing of the library or designing the website?

I also attended a COSWL program on care-giving and librarians. (again, see Lauren’s blog for details if you’re interested) The speakers were excellent, but there seemed to be more focus on caring for the elderly and not so much on childcare, which is the issue for me. Turns out I wasn’t the only one going through this and to know that it’s not just a personal issue, but a social and political one as well helped empower me, both personally and professionally.

I also attended programs on “Energize Your Instruction” and “Collaborative Digital Initiatives”, both of which were not what I expected. The instruction program wasn’t about things you can do to energize your instruction or pedagogy specifically, but more broadly about energizing yourself, thereby energizing your audience. We took a personality test and the speaker, Andrew Sanderbeck, gave a lively and entertaining slide presentation on keeping your passion, asking for help, taking a day off, and other “tid bits”. Although I would have liked more specific information on classroom techniques or pedagogy, I did come away with a renewed vigor in my step toward teaching.

The digital program included the South Carolina Digital Library, the PALMM project of Florida and the Eastern North Carolina Digital Library. As I have been working with Susan and Erik on the Digital Forsyth Project I had hoped to learn more about the metadata aspects. Turns out they were just showing their websites and explaining their processes, although not in enough detail for me. Quite a few of us left early (only program I did that).

Other experiences I had were catching up with my MLIS Information Literacy professor, Elizabeth Leonard, talking with the former library director at UNCG, and meeting with colleagues for lunch, dinner or wine tasting. I also met librarians who knew librarians here at ZSR (at the IS Soiree, I met Carol Cramer’s college roommate, Ann Brown, a librarian at George Washington University!).

I attended the Lexis-Nexis breakfast where Susan received her award (for the second or third time during the conference?). The speaker, Dana Milbank, is a political reporter for the Washington Post and gave a witty and satirical speech on his new book, Homo Politicus (which I won a copy of!).

Overall, my “experience” as a first time attendee at ALA was quite positive and fortunately not as overwhelming as some had warned it could be. I understand the 2010 conference is scheduled for Las Vegas – now that should be an experience!

One Response to “Elizabeth Experiencing ALA for the First Time”

  1. Hi Elizabeth! You learned how very small the library world can be! Ann (Carol’s Roommate)

ALA Annual
ALA Midwinter
Career Development for Women Leaders
Carolina Consortium
CASE Conference
Celebration: Entrepreneurial Conference
Charleston Conference
Coalition for Networked Information
Digital Forsyth
Electronic Resources and Libraries
Elon Teaching and Learning Conference
Entrepreneurial Conference
Evidence Based Library and Information Practice (EBLIP)
Ex Libris Users of North America (ELUNA)
First-Year Experience Conference
Handheld Librarian
ILLiad Conference
Innovative Library Classroom Conference
Journal reading group
Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians
Library Assessment Conference
Lilly Conference
LITA National Forum
Mentoring Committee
Music Library Association
NCCU Conference on Digital Libraries
North Carolina Serials Conference
online course
Online Learning Summit
Open Repositories
Professional Development Center
Site Visits and Tours
Society of American Archivists
Society of North Carolina Archivists
Southeast Music Library Association
Sun Webinar Series
TALA Conference
UNC Teaching and Learning with Technology Conference
University Libraries Group
ZSR Library Leadership Retreat
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007

Powered by, protected by Akismet. Blog with