ALA Annual 2016

#alaac16: Top Ten Random Thoughts about the Conference

My conference obligations are done, and I am packed to go home tomorrow morning. Here are my take-aways from #alaac16.

  1. Drink more water than coffee.
  2. Do not go back into the exhibits hall after mailing a box of materials back, because then you have to go back to the post office (or, FedEx in my case) to mail another two boxes.
  3. ALWAYS go to the ALSC President’s Program. Always. This year’s ode to space design was a visual and creative treat.
  4. Committee meetings are great networking events. I love learning from my colleagues around the country as we share ideas and things that worked – or didn’t work!
  5. Take the plunge, and propose a program idea. Or a poster session. I was able to present this year on Tween programs and services, and was rejuvenated and inspired by the audience’s passion for the youth at their libraries.
  6. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Go to that vendor party, or explore the neighborhood.
  7. Attend a program OUTSIDE of your professional wheelhouse, so that you continue to grow professionally.
  8. Talk to everyone and anyone. Set a goal of how many new connections you can make in different states to grow your network. You never know where life will take you!
  9. ALWAYS go to the Caldecott/Newbery/Wilder Banquet, the Coretta Scott King Awards, and the Pura Belpre Award luncheon. Yes, it is a lot to schedule around, but the speeches and the infectious JOY in the rooms will radiate into you.
  10. Pay it forward. A colleague saw me leaving the post office line, with my box of books, because I had to get to a committee meeting. She calmly took it from my arms, and told me she would go mail it for me. When I tried to press money into her hand, her reply was “I know where you work. I will send you the bill. Go to your meeting!”  And so I did – with the intent of doing something kind for someone else before the day was done. Conference love. It’s a real thing guys.

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