A little rain can’t dampen the enthusiasm here in New Orleans! My flight was packed full of librarians (we played “spot the librarian” in the airport – my glasses on a chain were a dead giveaway!), and every seat was taken. The clouds were ominous, but no big rain hit the Big Easy until late this evening. My colleagues and I spent the day traveling, getting our bearings, and making plans for tomorrow. The food, of course, was delicious!
#ALA11; Thursday, 11:30 pm Wow! There are a lot of authors & illustrators who will be signing, reading, and presenting at the Conference this weekend. I will need to see if I can arrange my schedule to try to catch at least a few of them. Too much to do! Too little time!
Today I set up the booth and as always I wonder what the librarians will be interested in this year. Last year I had much interest from teen librarians in our women’s issue books and some key nature titles. I am also wondering how the severe budget cuts will affect interests and needs. When books come out of the boxes, I always get excited. I have been selling books for about thirty years now and, still, books coming out of their wrapping is like unwrapping secret candy, even when I know what is coming. It’s wonderful after all these years to be fully in love with books. It’s also wonderful to have that feeling reciprocated, as it is here.
Maybe it’s the long, freshly vaccuumed hallways, maybe it’s the sight of bright red ALA bags all over. Whatever it is, it’s apparent that Annual Conference is upon us. This will be my first Annual Conference…as a staff member. In 2009, while in library school, I attended the Annual Conference in Chicago. So, I know the ins and outs of the exhibitors floor, but I still consider myself a novice in the arena of programs. Tomorrow I’ll be setting up the ALSC Booth in the Exhibition Hall and then preparing for ALSC 101 in the afternoon. Can’t wait to start seeing people around and enjoying the sights and sounds of Annual Conference! Make sure to follow along here and at #ala11.
It is, as to be expected, hot and humid here at #ala11, but it didn’t take me long to remember one of the things I love about New Orleans – the people are unfailingly friendly! The airport staff, the shuttle driver, the registration team at my hotel, even the people I stopped on the street all had smiles on their faces and a willingness to help in any way they could. I’ve just picked up my Annual Conference Program and Exhibit Directory” — all 335 pages of it! It will be exciting to peruse the many offerings, making decisions about which sessions to attend and how to make it to all the ones I’m most interested in.
It was muggy-lovely in New Orleans this morning, overcast and very June. I have never been to NO ALA and when driving past the convention center the shuttle driver said it was ten blocks large. That might be a slight exaggeration, but I’m glad I brought my GPS. Comfortable shoes take on a whole new meaning here. My first activity was the City/Katrina Tour given by Grey Line Tours. To see the destruction and displacemnt first-hand was both facinating and heart-breaking. The hightlight of this part of the tour were the “Shotgun” houses being built and donated by Brad Pitt. These are houses which are long and thin, some built on stilts, a style popular in the south. Other highlights were the Thomas Sully Wedding Cake House, Anne Rice’s childhood home, and City Park, and the neighborhood for musicians. (Where else is there a neighborhood for musicians?) It was a…
I leave for #ALA11 Thursday afternoon, and the excitement has been building all week. My clothes are laid out, I’ve loaded new books on my iPad, and plans are made. The ALA conference schedule site was a huge help for discovering sessions in my field and adding them to my calendar. The Twitter chat on #ALA11 has been lots of fun, building the excitement. This morning I discovered a fun tool that @jennwann is developing using Google Maps. View #ala11 NOLA in a larger map to see where everything’s going to happen this weekend!