The Institute started off the way any great endeavor should: at a brewery sharing good food and beer with new acquaintances! The meet-up in the brewery was the evening before the start of the actual Institute and helped everyone get in the swing of the next day’s programs. It was my first Institute and I was impressed by the range of programs, attendees, venue and how beautiful Salt Lake was. I enjoyed being able to take all the programs as they rotated during the two days we were together. There was a great mix of technology and collection development offerings, comfortable seating, and great food.
It was fabulous to have everything in one place; no rushing off to another hotel or conference center; you didn’t even have to leave the hotel if you didn’t want to! Our rooms, the programs, meals and classes were all in the same hotel. And how great to be with other attendees who were passionate about children’s services! Many levels of staff were represented and many people who wouldn’t be able to attend ALA were able to drive in, some as far away as Idaho. I believe the attendee who traveled the farthest was from the Caribbean! Our final evening we were treated to a delicious meal served buffet style on the roof of the impressive Salt Lake City Public Library with the city below us and the Wasatch Mountains in the distance.
I can hardly wait to attend our next Institute in Atlanta! I’m looking forward to rekindling friendships made in 2008, becoming reenergized about children’s services and taking back to my library system new ideas and innovations.
Cecilia P. McGowan
Coordinator of Children’s Services
King County Library System