While the sessions, exhibit hall, and committee meetings are invaluable to my experience of ALA Annual… there is a lot to be said for after-hours events and networking moments that happen spur of the moment just by looking up from your phone and connecting to someone for a few moments.
Taking a conference bus, talking to people online, or saying hello to the table next to you at Starbucks can be a way to connect to another librarian! It is one of the most underrated and yet amazing experiences that can come from Annual!
Lots of librarians seize on this by planning late-night dinners and social events– and one that had been popping up my twitter over the years was Drunk Story Time! To me that combined lots of things that I love– drinking, story time, and connecting to other librarians! And yet– it was so intimidating! @MelissaZD (twitter) or Mel’s Desk as you all know her from copying her fantastic baby lesson plans– helps to arrange this event– even bringing homemade cookies! Despite my fears– I decided to try it this year, as she specifically asked for books that would bring joy in these dark times. I bought the book, Babies and Doggies
It is an adorable board book showing how doggies and babies are relateable– they both kiss and sniff and play! It’s the cutest!
And so in a random hotel bar area over 15 library lovers got together to share stories, laughter, and cookies! And reminded me that we shouldn’t forget to play at annual ALA!