ALA Midwinter Wrap Up

ALA Midwinter 2009 has been over for just over a month now and as I’ve found with other conferences and travel, I get so far behind while I’m away, it gets hard to catch back up.

This was my second ALA event and first time at Midwinter. While ALA Annual is about the programs, ALA Midwinter is about the business of ALA. Although I attended several great programs about technology in libraries, the majority of my time was spent in board meetings. I’ve become more involved in the CLENE (Continuing Library Education Network Exchange) Round Table. I’m currently working on a PR and marketing plan for CLENE that fill fulfill a project requirement for school. I’ve learned from good friend and associate Paul Signorelli that it’s a great time saver when you can use one project for two purposes.

Some of the highlights from Midwinter:

Having a strawberry martini to celebrate the changes to the Emerging Leaders program:
Celebrating Emerging Leaders Improvements for 2009

Seeing what to me was the blizzard of 09:
Snowy Denver Convention Center

Coming home and seeing my son go crazy over the LIA schwag. Seriously if anyone has more of these necklaces please save them for me!
Future LITA Member LITA

My coach from my Master Trainer program also lives in Denver so I was able to meet her for dinner and brainstorm a bit on my program – which is due in a few days.

For a play-by-play of my trip to Midwinter you can view my ALAMW09 Tweets.

ALA Emerging Leaders Update

Last year I wrote a few posts about the Emerging Leaders program in ALA and my frustration with the requirement that applicants hold an MLS. I am happy to say that I found out today that this requirement is being changed. The next round of the Emerging Leaders program will accept applications from library employees. Period.

I found this out in real time, as the vote was taking place, via Twitter. I can’t tell you how thrilled I was to hear the news. ALA and the Emerging Leaders Taskforce is making a huge step in the right direction by opening this program up.

Not only will this open doors for other library workers dedicated to the profession of libraries, but it sends a message that ALA is about libraries and the people who work in them–all the people.

ALA Midwinter

I arrived today in Denver, Colorado for ALA Midwinter. I attended ALA Annual last year, but this is my first time at Midwinter so not really sure what to expect.

ALA Welcome to Denver, originally uploaded by nengard.

After a long day of connecting flights and a lost shuttle driver who overheated the shuttle engine, I enjoyed a wonderful dinner at PF Changs with a group of about 11 other library trainers and library consultants. We received possibly the best customer service I’ve ever had when dining in a large group.

At the end of our dinner the owner brought us complimentary desserts to thank us for all we do for libraries. Then our waiter gave us a tour of the kitchen and “catacombs” of the restaurant. The building is the second oldest in Denver and contains bricked up walls that used to be secret tunnels below the city.

Basement of PF Changs

So far we’ve all felt very welcomed by Denver, the hotels, and all the hospitality people who work extra hard during big events like this.

By the way there is also a livestock and rodeo going on in Denver as well as an Outdoor Sportsmens’ Expo. It’s pretty easy to spot the ALA attendees! On day one you’ll see them sitting quietly on the floor throughout the convention center lined up and down the halls with a highlighter in hand highlighting the conference guide to mark which sessions they want to attend.

Next Week is Employee Learning Week – ELW2008

Next week is Employee Learning Week 2008. On the WebJunction message board, Betha Gutsche has offered a challenge:

I’d love to see more libraries in the 2008 Champions of Learning roster. Last year, there was one—PLCMC. They got a proclamation from the Mayor of Charlotte to declare a city-wide Employee Learning Week. Putting it in words that “workforce development is everyone’s business” is a step in the right direction.

It’s not too late to participate. It can be as simple as what we did at PLCMC last year–sending out emails to employees highlighting benefits we offer to our staff in learning. You can read copies of the emails we sent out last year here.

ALA-APA has partnered with ASTD as well and offers a library toolkit and poster for Employee Learning Week.

So let’s hear it. How are you celebrating learning this year? Don’t forget to submit your celebration to ASTD so you can be recognized as a champion of learning!

Good News for Non-ALA Members

The weekly e-newsletter, American Libraries Direct, is now available to anyone who wants to sign up for it, not just ALA members. The sign-up form, as well as the FAQ, is at

Additionally, login is no longer required to view the current issue of the American Libraries print magazine online (in PDF format), or to view the archives, which date back to the January 2003 issue. Go directly to

First-time viewers will need to install the ebrary reader to view issues. To download, go to

Firefox 3 users installing the reader for the first time will need a workaround,, to make the ebrary reader work with their browser.