Saturday after the Empowerment Breakfast I headed over to the vendor exhibits cleverly called “The Stacks” and arranged in Dewey order from 000s to 900s. I’ve heard that ALA Annual has the largest gathering of vendors in the world. If that’s not true it sure felt like it!
If you were there for the ribbon cutting and initial opening this is what you saw:
Exhibits Open uploaded by ALA
Luckily I waited a few hours and the crowds had gotten much smaller:
The Stacks uploaded by debrickb
Being an ALA first-timer the exhibit hall was slightly overwhelming. My advice to other first timers is to tear out the exhibit hall map ahead of time, go through the list of vendors and choose who you want to see, then highlight the vendors on the map so you can plan your time (and walking) accordingly.
I noticed that there seem to be two kinds of conference goers–those who want to collect as much stuff as possible and those who want to collect as little as possible. I was somewhere in the middle and only collected what is relevant to me. But there were a few with rolling carts overflowing with freebies. Conveniently there is an on site UPS facility where you can roll your cart over, package, and ship your items back to your library.
I ran into Meredith Farkas and her husband Adam in the exhibit hall. I can’t say it enough, but this is the great thing about the biblioblogosphere, even though I had never met Meredith before, it was like running into an old friend. She’s even nicer in person.
WebJunction Library 2.0 Café
Saturday afternoon I attended and hosted a table at the WebJunction Library 2.0 Café. The idea behind this comes from the World Café Model which is that we have as much (if not more) to learn from our participants as they do from us. Tables around the room were draped in flip chart paper with colored markers. Each table had a host to facilitate the discussion and every 10-minutes the participants changed tables. The question discussed was: How can your library apply 2.0 concepts and tools in a relevant way to engage your community?
Photos uploaded by the MaintainIT Project
We had some amazing discussions at each table. Now the really cool thing was that in addition to our participants in the room we had virtual participants from around the country as well. My good friend (who I’ve also never met in person) Stephanie Zimmerman, Training Coordinator for the Library System of Lancaster County (PA) hosted a virtual table using Wimba Classroom. There was even a webcam and microphone set up so Stephanie and the other virtual participants could see and hear the room in Anaheim.
You can read some the ideas participants came up with during the session and join in the conversation about using 2.0 concepts to engage our communities over at the WebJunction Wiki. Feel free to join in the discussion!
ACRL Poster Session Learning Virtually: Online Professional Development for Library Workers with Tight Budgets and Full Schedules
Immediately after the Library 2.0 session I went to set up for the ACRL Poster Session Learning Virtually: Online Professional Development for Library Workers with Tight Budgets and Full Schedules. If you’ve never been to a poster session it is a lot like a science fair. There are literally huge posters that each participant has carefully designed, had printed, and transported to the convention center. Each participant is available to talk about the information being presented.
This is a great time to meet and network with colleagues from around the country with similar interests as you.
Next Generation Professional Development: Survival of the Twittest. Using Social Networking Tools to Learn and Stay Current by Cindi Trainor, Eastern Kentucy University; Jezmynne Westcott, The Claremont Colleges
…and my display LOL @ the Library (Live Online Learning @ PLCMC)
Saturday night staff from my library were treated to dinner by our director at Mr. Stox restaurant. The food was amazing and the atmosphere though formal was very relaxing.
As you can see it was a busy day (as they all were) which is why I did not get any blogging done during the actual conference.