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.