I attended my very first ALA conference this past weekend in Washington, DC and it was quite an experience. Due to a lack of funds I did not attend any of the presentations, but went for the exhibits and the experience of attending ALA. Since I live in Virginia, it was only a three hour drive to arrive, so I dragged my fiance with me (we’ve been together seven years today!).
The conference was held at the Washington, DC Conference Center, and I met my good friend Catherine Medeot there in the lobby. As soon as we decided to dive head in, we went right into the exhibits. After being slightly overwhelmed by the amount of people there, we decided to go someplace that was somewhat familiar, so we went to the Syracuse University iSchool booth. We met up with Dr. Scott Nicholson and Blythe Bennet who gave us some tips for surviving the experience: Start at the back and go up and down each aisle so you don’t miss anything. After getting our Syracuse iSchool ribbon, we began our journey.
One of the most beneficial booths I saw in the exhibit area was the ALA Joblist booth. They were offering resume services and on the spot interviews. Unfortunately the resume evaluation service was completely booked up, and I wasn’t qualified for any of the jobs because they were things like Head of Reference or Director of Libraries, but….I did get this cool ribbon that says “Librarian for Hire”. Plus, I signed up for a webinar the ALA will be having in regard to finding jobs that will air in the fall.
The LAC Group booth was also very beneficial. They are a company called Library Associates that staff various projects that they are working on or are contacted to conduct hiring services for various libraries. I found out that they have a resume database where you can upload your resume for free and be considered for jobs that you are qualified for. You can also apply for whatever job listings are available. They loved my “Librarian for Hire” ribbon.
Now for the fun exhibits!!
Wizards of the Coast had an exhibit. Here’s where the dork in me comes out! They are responsible for the Dungeons and Dragons game books as well as the Forgotten Realms books featuring Drizzt and Cadderly that I have absolutely fallen in love with! They had a demonstration of a kids activity book where you can develop a contraption to capture things such as dragons.
On the walls of the exhibit they have covers of books that will be coming out. For all of you out there that believed the Drizzt books would be ending with The Ghost King, I’ve got news for you! I saw a cover that had Drizzt it on it, and the title is Gauntlgrym. I wasn’t able to get any information about the book, except for the fact that it will be released in October 2010.
I saw a booth for a publishing company called Black Rabbit Books. I told the representative how much I loved the name of his company (being a bunny owner myself…) he proceeded to tell me about the Black Rabbit for whom the company is named after. His name is Edgar Allen Poe and he has free roam of the house and likes to hang out around the model train and little houses. It was cute.
Finally, to wrap this up, and to tie it into my blog topic, even if it is just a slight connection, here we go. There was a booth that was selling all sorts of T-shirts that had to do with being a librarian. You know, those kind of t-shirts that have funny phrases, or pictures that only those of us who are librarians would understand. Well, here was my favorite. It said “Today is a good day to read” and had featured a Klingon weapon (Unfortunately I didn’t get a picture of it, and I can’t find it on the web).
So, that’s it for this week. I know it was a bit off topic, but it was definitely something I was excited about and wanted to share. Next week we will be going back to Star Trek!