Planning for Annual Conference

The March issue of American Libraries is shrink-wrapped with the preliminary program for the 2009 ALA Annual Conference. We on staff get issues of AL a bit sooner than they are in mail, but you’ll have yours in a day or so.

In between reference calls and staff questions, I’ve been paging through the program.

First, I checked that the program being planned by the committee I’m staff liaison to is there and accurate. It is (p. 79 … top of middle column). And it’s even in the right program track (on p. 41).

Then I noticed that there, on the inside of the back cover, is a short planning calendar–and better yet, a blank page facing it. The planning calendar was a feature of the preliminary programs when I first started attending annual conference, long before joining the ALA staff. And I’ve missed them. Yes, I have created them in any number of planning tools, but this one is immediately available as I page through the booklet. Handy place to note what catches my eye now so I can see if I can shoehorn in an extra or two, once I know the schedule for what I must do.

I looked at the field trips being offered by Camp ALA. Because the conference is in Chicago, I probably won’t be using Camp ALA this year, for the first time in years. If you are thinking of making your trip to conference a family vacation, know that kids enjoy Camp ALA and that the staff are wonderful and caring. Good destinations for the field trips, too.

What else?

  • A great line-up of speakers between the division presidents’ programs (p. 10) and the Auditorium Speakers Series (p. 3) including several of my favorite authors
  • 2009 Empowerment Conference for library support staff (p. 52 … good speakers … I’ll see if Val and Jessica would like to go)
  • Scholarship Bash at the AIC on Saturday, Book Cart Drill Teams on Sunday … starting to look like I should get the kids exhibit passes, which reminds me that one of the nice things about an ALA conference is that it is family friendly
  • Theme for the Membership Meetings: Libraries in Hard Times (p. 48)
  • Forty (!!) pages of program listings … though some are awards receptions and special dinners and events, including the FRTF 40th Anniversary Gala … these will take more time to sift through. Some catch words: disaster preparedness, metadata, information literacy, influencing legislators, planning, partnerships … surely there’s something for everyone.

Yes, plenty of reasons to make me eager to attend, even after decades of “going to ALA”!!


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