ALA 2009: I Arrive. . . . And Get Lost
Greetings, from fair Chicago!
I write to you from a comfy chair in my sister’s home. The conference had only semi-officially started as of yesterday but long before my arrival I had it all planned out.
Step One: Create Google maps of everywhere I will need to go.
Step Two: Follow maps to desired locations.
Step Three: Feel smug.
Step One I accomplished and went straight through to Step Three. A word of advice: Under very few circumstances should a person feel confident enough to traipse merrily headlong into Step Three. Case in point, I Google Mapped the wrong location of the conference center.
Please bear in mind that I have never been to a Chicago conference before. So when I went to the area where I THOUGHT the conference would be, I fell under the distinct impression that Chicago, in fact, had no conference center. Just a bunch of hotels overlooking the river. Logic! So I merrily traipsed into a Hilton where they were giving out conference badges and informed them that I had left mine at home. Which I had. They then opened my eyes to get that badge (as well as tickets for various events) I would have to find the conference center that was way way way way south. Of everything. In the whole wild world.
I was disheartened, but a kindly librarian instantly cheered me up by offering me two of her tickets to the upcoming taping of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me that night. She would not be attending and figured I might be able to put the tickets to good use (I did). So a tip of the hat to kind Californian librarians then!
Eventually I figured everything out and life became entirely bearable again. I got my badges and found the ALA Store where my book was shown.
I spent time admiring the local eateries (is this an awning missing an apostrophe or am I just being picky?).
I attended the Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me taping. Paula Poundstone was in fine form, as you will hear on Saturday, and I have just begun to foster a new schoolgirl crush on Peter Sagal. As you can imagine, there were plenty of good librarian jokes made (Peter asked us to remove our glasses and shake out our hair so he could say, "Why.. you’re beautiful!"). ALA had reserved the entire auditorium for the event. Quite decent of them, really.
All in all, life is good. More to come later today (I hope!), as I traverse the conference floor, see author James Kennedy do something strange, crash ALA Notables, and generally make a nuisance of myself.
Click here for more ALA 2009 Conference News coverage from Library Journal and School Library Journal.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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