ALA Midwinter 2018

Wrapping up my 1st Midwinter #alamw18

And… it’s a wrap!

My first Midwinter experience is officially done! It’s been a super quick five days in Denver. I have had some highs– Bill Morris Seminar, talking storytime, attending my first council session, and many more; and some lows– icy streets, SNOW, way overpacked bags.But all in all, it was a wonderful and illuminating experience to attend the infamous Midwinter Conference.

My takeaways:

~Midwinter is mostly meetings and there is not much program– but it is a chance to really get to know committees and what they do. There are also lots of OPEN meetings where you can just drop in and hear about a division or round table.

~Attendance is a lot lower at Midwinter– according to Council documents we were about a thousand people less than last year in Atlanta… and while that may be disappointing to vendors, it is a great opportunity to network! You see the same people walking around and have an opportunity to stop and say hi and actually connect with others! It is so much easier to strike up a conversation, and then you usually end up seeing the same people again and again. Even if it’s just a simple hello on the exhibit floor- it makes the conference seem more connected!

~There are still eons of free books and SWAG. Hopefully, by the time I have posted this, I have figured out to either leave some books here or have mastered packing! Conference tip: I pack a carry-on bag into a large suitcase so I have an extra bag to take home all my goodies…

~Don’t forget to take a moment to have fun! Explore the area! Treat yourself to a delicious burger or some ice cream in 19-degree weather! Conferences can be a great way to travel and explore– and I usually need a reminder about that!

~ALA is constantly evolving- it can feel like our organization is big, stagnant, and ominous at times– but I have heard and been a part of so many fruitful conversations about creating better access for staff members to attend conferences, how to promote diversity within, and streamlining our services to reduce redundancy. ALA Council is very interested in these issues and others- so feel free to reach out with your thoughts and comments! What does your ideal ALA look like? How can we get there?

Thanks for checking out my posts about the conference– it’s been wonderful sharing my thoughts with you all! See you in New Orleans!

Me at a sign

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