Last Midwinter, my post about the ALSC Membership dinners had the exact same title. Dinner with longtime and newfound ALSC friends—a great way to dive into Midwinter, and an event that is quickly becoming a Midwinter tradition. But what are the ALSC Membership dinners, anyhow? Simply put, the super hard-working Membership Committee (many thanks to Jennifer Knight, Tanya Prax, and Jackie Quinn!) arranges small group dinners with new and seasoned ALSC members at different locations across the city. Participants can choose the restaurant that fits them best, and Membership Committee members serve as hosts. These dinners are a wonderful way for members to meet some new friends and talk about all things library–youth services, education, administration, and so much more.
My group met at Bud and Marilyn’s, where guess what, it was Restaurant Week! Super interesting choices (pickles and fried chicken seemed to be a little bit of a theme, oh, and also cheese curds!), but everything was delicious. Great food, and also fascinating conversations! We swapped stories of very entertaining collection development strategies, tips for navigating the conference, and insights into leadership and mentorship. It was really interesting to learn about the libraries where we all work, as they are all so very different. At our table alone, we had librarians from large multi-branch systems, medium-sized multi-branch systems, and small standalone libraries, too.
At the evening’s close, our parting words were, “See you on Saturday!,” and “I’ll catch up with you on Sunday!” That’s all very true. I am sure that I’ll see my dinner companions at various events throughout the rest of the conference, and that’s really cool.
Sarah Hashimoto is serving a third year on ALSC’s Membership Committee. She is a Community Engagement Manager for Jackson District Library in Jackson, Michigan.