Professional Development

Susan at ALA in the Big Easy: Just Getting Started

Sunday, June 26, 2011 1:23 am

It Gets Better Message

Dan Savage: Opening General Session Keynote Speaker

This is my fourth trip to New Orleans, and the first one in the past three where I didn’t arrive by bus! However, it is my first ALA here and that really makes for a different experience. The city is back to bustling, and you add in several thousand librarians loose in the Big Easy…..there’s no telling (What happens in New Orleans stays in New Orleans!)

Seriously, we hit the ground running once we arrived. Within ten minutes of unpacking our suitcases in our hotel, roommate Carolyn McCallum and I met up with Roz Tedford (who had been here vacationing for a few days already), and hopped the shuttle to the Convention Center to catch the opening keynote address by Dan Savage. We had to sit through an hour of intro activities (welcomes, awards, introductions) that included brief speeches by New Orleans mayor MItch Landrieu and Melinda Gates (virtually).

It was worth the wait when Dan finally got on stage. I was not familiar with him, but he talked about his “It Gets Better” project, a YouTube video campaign that solicited videos from GLBT adults so they can talk directly to teenage gays to tell them that things do get better. I have a feeling that you will be hearing more eloquently from Roz about this talk, but it was one of the most powerful ALA general session speeches I have ever heard.

The picture above shows Dan during his presentation, but I included the image for a second reason. I just happened to notice last week on ALA Direct that they were sponsoring an “ALA Photo Scavenger Hunt” throughout the conference. You might not be surprised that this caught my attention. By 8 am each day between last Thursday and next Tuesday, a list of items to be photographed is posted on ALA Connect. Each image is assigned a different point value, depending on how much ALA wants to showcase it. The items are a variety of places, people and events. Contestants post the images on their Flickr accounts and then add them to the ALA Annual 11 Flickr group. I’ve found they put many more items on the list than it would be feasible to find each day, and the assortment is varied. The benefit for ALA is that they increase their chances of getting images on their ALA Flickr group that highlight the events they want. The outcome for me (besides the fun of taking the shot) is that it has facilitated my exploration of areas of the conference which I would have never done under my own steam. I talked with comic book artists, the membership pavilion ALA staff, and vendors, as well as visited the cooking demo area, the copyright help desk and made a contribution to the Spectrum Scholar program! It is actually very energizing to expand my conference experience using a tool that I love. The picture of Dan was my entry for the item on Friday’s list: “Make your own “It Gets Better” message photo.”

Friday evenings are always the beginning of the networking portion of the conference. As usual, I attended the LITA Happy Hour. Now that I’m on two LITA committees, I enjoy getting the opportunity to touch base with all the people I’ve been working with virtually during the previous half year.

I finished the first day off over dinner with my ZSR Library colleagues (Roz, Mary Beth, Ellen, Steve, and Roz’s sister) at a very good restaurant (there are tons of excellent restaurants in NO), the Palace Cafe. I behaved myself, but several of our group gave in to temptation and had a New Orleans specialty, bananas foster.

Making Bananas Foster at the Palace Cafe

2 Responses to “Susan at ALA in the Big Easy: Just Getting Started”

  1. Looking forward to your photos!

  2. Dan Savage is a very powerful speaker. I have followed him on and off from the early stages of the “It Gets Better Profect” thru Facebook and YouTube. Some of the videos are the most emotional and powerful you will ever see.

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