ALA Annual 2024

You Had a Fantastic Time at ALA Annual!…Now What Happens?

Colorful library of books

You had an absolutely amazing time at ALA Annual and are returning home energized and ready to implement so many things where you work!…So what comes next? 

Whether it’s your first conference or your fiftieth, I think it’s quite easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of wonderful ideas that you just learned. I love going to conferences – it’s so fun to connect with other people that may have the same job title that I do but have their own spin on it! However, I know that I’ve found myself struggling to actually put into practice all of that new knowledge.   

When we come home from conferences, we return to our jobs. We most likely will come back to a ton of emails and things that need to be taken care of. Depending on where you work, you may find yourself in a different kind of whirlwind than the one you were a part of at ALA Annual. I’m talking about a library’s summer reading program and the chaos that may come with it. 

So how do we take the exciting information we’ve acquired and enact it once we’re back in real life? Below please find a few ideas that may assist with that! 

  • While it’s still fresh in your mind, take another look over your notes and write down anything else that you remember. It may be fresh now but that knowledge can move to the back of your mind as you go about the daily tasks of your job. And you don’t want to lose the spectacular ideas that you came up with! 
  • Once you’ve written out everything that you want to remember about the incredible time you had at ALA Annual, I suggest taking a break from it to make sure that any needs you have are taken care of. It is totally okay if what you learned doesn’t get implemented right away! 
  • Now that you’ve had some time for yourself, you may be feeling ready to reconnect. Take out your notes and make a list to prioritize what comes next! Perhaps you met some really marvelous people and want to email them to make sure y’all stay in touch. Maybe you want to create an action plan to lay out the steps you need to take to start something new where you work. Once that’s done, perhaps you’d like to schedule a meeting with your supervisor to chat about it! 
  • Lastly, I really recommend that you stay connected with ALSC! If you aren’t already a member, learn more about the organization and join us! While you were at ALA Annual, maybe you discovered that you’re super animated about a certain topic and you want to get more involved in it! If that’s the case, I suggest finding out more about our ALSC committees and filling out your volunteer form to join one! This guide has information on what each committee does, so you can find one on a subject that you’re very passionate about! 

Ashley Bressingham (she/her) is the Librarian II/Children’s Room Assistant Supervisor at the New Rochelle Public Library and a Co-Chair of the ALSC Membership Committee.  

This blog post relates to ALSC Core Competencies of: VII. Professionalism and Professional Development. 

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