Monday, September 9, 2013

ALA 2013 - A Little Late

I had my first experience with an American Library Association Annual Conference earlier this summer. It was a long day, but wonderful.

Ky, a good friend of mine from college, also came with to the conference. She came down from Wisconsin the night before and we took the train into the city early the next morning. We walked to the conference shuttle, made it to McCormick Place, and got checked in to the conference.

We quickly checked out the lay of the land (& wow, the place was huge!) and started to get in line for author signings. While in line to get my book signed by Sarah Dessen, I was able to get a creeper shot of Mo Willems from across the aisle.

 While I was in line for Ms. Dessen I was standing in front of the AudioGo booth. I chatted with the representative and came away with a free audiobook, and a title that the library had passed by because it was too expensive, to boot!

I finally purchased my book and had it signed. Sarah Dessen was very nice, and while I was taking a picture, she and her assistant both said they loved my phone case ("Keep Calm & Carry On" - fitting for many of us!).

While I was in line for Sarah, Ky stood in line and got our books signed by Marie Lu. 

Diary of a Wimpy Librarian? I hope not!

We wandered around for the rest of the day, I attended a session about video editing and using YouTube for libraries, which was interesting, and I hope to eventually incorporate some of the ideas I learned there into my library work. We accumulated bags full of galleys, Ky got her book signed by Veronica Roth (I was so jealous! Darn having to attend sessions!), and I talked to an OCLC representative about some issues I had been having with creating the ILL account using their new software.

We also saw the Penguin Book Truck, which had lots of great deals, but I had to abstain because my back was already breaking from the mountain of galleys in my tote-bags.

This is the view of the conference floor from the cafe. Ky stayed up here and people watched for a while while I was attending one of my sessions. It was massive! 

After a very long morning and afternoon we caught the bus outside the conference center and headed back to the train station. We were delayed because a street on the way to the hotel was blocked off due to something being filmed. We weren't sure if it was for a movie (we were hoping for Divergent!) or TV, but we got to see a car take off down the street and be filmed by a jeep with a camera rig on top, so that was cool, and worth the extra time on the bus! 

The Chicago Art Institute Lions were celebrating a Blackhawks Stanley Cup win in style!

The bus only took us as far as the Weston Hotel so we had to hoof it several blocks back to the train station. I'm sure we were quite a site with all of our tote-bags.

Yay Maggie! I needed some Gansey time!

I spent some time on the train ride home reading this galley, that I was very excited to have randomly handed to me as soon as I hit the conference floor. I had been waiting for this book for months (and it was worth the wait!).

We finally made it back to the train station, and were starving, so we stopped at Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner. It was the perfect end to a very long, but satisfying, day.

The hungry teacher and librarian devoured these in a matter of minutes. And they were delicious.

My first ALA Conference was only one day, but I really enjoyed it, and hope I get to attend another the future. Maybe someday I'll be one of the librarians leading a session.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sleep... Or Lack Thereof

It is 1:30 in the morning as I write this. I should be sleeping, but thank goodness I don't have to work until noon tomorrow. Things are keeping my mind too busy to let me drift off.

Our Summer Reading Program concluded last Friday, with the final party taking place on Saturday evening at the local YMCA. We rented out the entire facility, which was then closed to the general public, and filled the space with library families for 3 hours. They could swim, play in the gym, climb around in the playhouse, play air hockey or pool, or use the climbing wall, bounce house, or inflatable obstacle course we had rented for the event.

We only had 1 major complaint, so I think it went pretty well. I sat behind the welcome desk with the teen librarian to take tickets and give directions, and you would not believe how many people thought I worked for the YMCA and were asking me membership questions. They were astonished to discover that I was not, in fact, a YMCA employee, but a librarian. Apparently my disguise consisting of jeans and a Pride & Prejudice t-shirt was effective (Affective? It's late; my grammar skills have declined.). 

With programming on hiatus for the rest of the summer so that we can plan everything for the rest of the year, I have been taking time to do some software training for the other main aspect of my job: Interlibrary Loan. Over the past 2 days I have spent a solid 4 hours participating in OCLC WorldShare instruction webinars. They have made me the crankiest staff member afterwards, but they will be highly useful once the old ILL module is disabled and retired at the end of the year.

4 more work days and then it is time for this librarian's 5 day vacation. And house move, but I'm trying not to think about that. I do look forward to being able to unpack and no longer be living out of boxes.

Time for attempt 3 at falling asleep.

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Remember that time I started my full-time job and promptly stopped blogging?

I do.

It was sad.

I'm hoping I can get back to it on a more regular basis sometime soon.

Although, Summer Reading Club starts tomorrow... so I might be doomed.

We shall see. Because I certainly do miss blogging.