Posted by: ayounglove | July 2, 2008

I’m going to Disneyland!

Actually, I just came from Disneyland. I decided to take advantage of my student rate before I graduate and the fact that the largest library conference in the nation would be on the West Coast (which it won’t be for at least three more years). This year, the American Library Association held its 2008 annual conference in Anaheim, California.

This woman was very excited about the free books at ALA.

Highlights of the conference for me included:

  • The piles and piles of free books!
  • One-on-one resume review service
  • Meeting a local library patron who absolutely loves libraries and getting free books (see picture above)
  • Listening to Roy Tennant moderate a panel on OPACS with expert librarians that I look up to: Karen Schneider, Steven Abrams, Karen Coyle and Joe Janes
  • Proximity to Disneyland!
  • Cory Doctorow: One of the creators of Boing Boing, Cory is also a smashing science fiction writer, a superb speaker and a brilliant guy! Who knew?

Not so great parts of the conference were:

  • Lack of benches anywhere in the convention center: Was the Anaheim Convention Center even ADA compliant?
  • Distance of over a mile to any real food access
  • The Opening Session: Was everyone reading from a teleprompter? Why did even the keynote speaker sound like Ben Stein?
  • General disorganization: Many of my planned sessions were canceled without notice, moved, or drastically different from their program write-ups, and the experience of asking others for guidance only to be told that they too were confused was discouragingly common
  • The generally pessimistic aura overhanging the conference: Discussions about a predicted terrible future economic depression, the coming copyright dark ages and increasing digital divide and being confronted immediately at general session with handouts about donating $ to ALA upon our deaths was less than cheery . . .

I\'ll be blogging ALA

Stay tuned for longer ALA blog entries.  I plan to write one covering the excellent catalog session more in-depth, and another with a detailed comparison between my SLA and ALA conference experiences.

My photographs of the ALA convention

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Responses

  1. I hope I wasn’t one of the voices of doom and gloom — I see some GREAT things happening!

    Concur on the food, and wouldn’t you know every day I forgot to pack my little power bars and then got to the convention center where everything was at least $5?

    Anaheim regardless, I loved seeing my library buddies. That makes ALA for me, every time!

  2. Actually, I recall that you were the voice of reason, saying, “I hate to be the one to be contradictory, but . . .” 🙂

    I too am a hopeful person even though I sometimes expect the worst. Change happens when we dream a little and I do see some promising changes on the horizon.

    You are also right about seeing library buddies — meeting great library folks in person is something I definitely should have mentioned as one my highlights!


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