June 30, 2010

I Went to New Orleans and All I Got Was...

...a great SLA Annual Conference. Plus a helluva lot of humidity...

Now that it's been two weeks since the conference ended, it's time for a recap! Well, not a recap per se - I won't put you through every session I went to - but I will hit some highlights. It was a long conference this year - four and a half very full days - but it was good!

Saturday: Board Meeting #1! This was followed by the 2011 annual conference planner's meeting. 2011 is shaping up nicely! I'm pleased to be working with the divisions that PAM is cosponsoring with, and I'm excited about our sessions. I'm also extremely pleased that the Arizona Chapter is going to be participating in a session next year, with other Western State chapters. We're working out the details now.

Kudos to Khue D for the PAM Early Bird Dinner at Liborio's Cuban Restaurant! It was definitely a leisurely event, but the crowd had fun and the mojitos were amazing.

Early mornings ho - 7:30 meetings almost every day, bleah! The first one was Sunday with the Leadership Development Institute. (I have been developed!) Discussions about the direction of SLA, the upcoming conference, and other activities (Alignment Toolkit, anyone?) were held. More to come at January's Leadership Summit, I'm sure.

Sunday also brought Board Meeting #2 and the interesting opening session, with Mary Matalin and James Carville - they're entertaining speakers but I got the impression they didn't quite have a good sense of their audience. I tell you, though, I could listen to Carville reading a cereal box with that accent and enjoy it...

Monday was full of business meetings, roundtables, the exhibit hall, and a lively book group discussion while the heavens poured buckets and buckets of water on New Orleans. After dashing through the dwindling raindrops we enjoyed the PAM Open House. I missed four other things I wanted to go to - the whole conference sorted out schedule-wise quite well except for Monday at 5:30, when five things collided. One of those things - that I missed - was the West Coast Chapter Reception; I'm proud to say that the Arizona Chapter will be involved with it next year (after we sort out a bit of a name change)!

Tuesday... more business meetings, a co-moderated session on Data Curation, prep with my co-presenter for our session the next day, and a lovely book signing event during the French Quarter networking reception. The ladies in the walking table dresses were fun! And thanks so much to everyone who bought a book and had it signed. I hope you enjoy it!

The big deal Tuesday night was, of course, the IT/PAM/LMD Dance Party - a Masquerade! The turnout was great, the masks in use were even greater, and we closed it down, once more having to shoo folks out at midnight.This is a great event and I highly recommend that everyone just plans on putting it on your schedule!

Wednesday brought the last of the board meetings and a definite decrease in energy - until the adrenaline kicked in for my session "Embed Yourself: The Librarian is IN!" with Jake Carlson of Purdue. We had a good time and gave, if I may say so, a great session - we ran over our time slot with the Q&A session, and we've had a lot of post-conference interest in it as well. This was followed by the jam-packed Astronomy Roundtable - always one of my favorites - and then the closing session with Nicholas Carr. I was intrigued but too tired to argue at this point!

The Kentucky chapter was kind enough to include me in their post-conference celebratory dinner (these people know how to have a good time at a conference, I tell you what) but I pooped out before the Bourbon Street crawl. It was an exhausting week but really good in a lot of ways, and I'm excited to be working on the 2011 conference planning. I'm also continuing to plot library world domination.... mua-hahahaha!