Guest Blogger

Inspirational Opening Session #PLA2022

As those of us attending #PLA2022 signed in virtually for the opening session, there was great joy and energy from at least 38 of the United States, a number of our Canadian neighbors, and even attendees from Thailand and Lithuania. The fun music had us all dancing and we speculated on whether this music was playing in Portland or not as the audience seemed much calmer then we were. There was great collegiality in the chat, and much gratitude expressed for being able to participate from a distance.

Luvvie Ajayi Jones was an inspiring speaker to open the conference asking us to consider “Will my silence convict me?” She is a proud “troublemaker” speaking up for what she believes and she encourages us to also be “good troublemakers” like the late John Lewis. She did acknowledge that we do put ourselves at risk by speaking up, but that we need to find the courage to do so – and to support others who speak up.

As Mr. Weasley says to Harry Potter in the Order of the Phoenix, “truth will out.” Jones applauds the important work of librarians who are getting information out into the world. She reminded us that truth is never too late.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

Guest conference blogger Melinda Sandkam (she/her) will complete the MSIS program at University of Tennessee this May. She attended the last in-person ALA Midwinter in Philadelphia, January 2020, but sadly missed out on PLA in Nashville. She has enjoyed attending many conferences, webinars and symposiums online in past two years. As Melinda pursues a job in Outreach Librarianship, she looks forward to attending future conferences in person, but this time around is excited to enjoy her first PLA virtually. Melinda hopes that library associations will continue to offer virtual options moving forward in order to make them accessible to all. Whether in-person or virtual, dark chocolate is an essential snack for making it through a conference day!

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