Tag Archives: ala midwinter

Hello from Midwinter!

Hi, sorry for the delay my darlings.

This Midwinter thing has been fun thus far.  I have photos but am having some technical difficulties, so those will have to come later.

First things first – yes, you can tell who the librarians are.  It’s incredible. 
Secondly, ALA only contributed to this phenomenon by providing all attendees with – neon orange bags.  Oh yes.  Best thing I heard all conference “So, what?  You want us to go pick up trash off the side of the road or something?”

Denver – great town.  Really walkable and people are pretty friendly.  My only experience with the city other than conference was when I was 10 and my family and I had a layover at the Denver airport on the way to California.  I remember seeing a cowboy leaning up against a pillar – cowboy boots, hat and all.  And it was forever the only thing I associated with Denver.  Now I associate Denver with cowboys and librarians with neon orange bags.

Mostly I’ve been in Emerging Leaders events.  I am going to have to explain the full program in greater detail another time, but let’s just say it’s newer librarians who have been identified for their proven leadership or desire to lead.  We all tackle a project to help change/improve ALA or some aspect of it.  It’s been interesting.  The energy and buzz in the room is incredible.  I’ve come away with some good lessons (that I’ll also share later – I’m working on a sleep deficit, folks – two hour time change…)

Hmm, just read my post.  If you were looking for constructive info on the conference, you came to the wrong place, I guess.  But I do promise I will be more clear in later posts.  Probably. 

For my friend the Blogbrarian who wanted a fashion report – yes, yes, it’s bad outfits galore.  I have seen more than one misguided attempt by attendees to fit in with the local culture and – gulp – wear very hideous cowboy boots.  However in good news, I must say a lovely trend towards great hair styles and excellent use of jewelry to accessorize.  How else would we all detract from our sensible, ugly shoes?  Let’s hope that at Annual Chicago, YALSA saves us all.

You want a map of Denver? I gotta map of Denver…

And here is it: http://net.educause.edu/section_params/conf/E04/images/map.pdf  It’s like five years old, but whatever, it works!  And if you are even half as directionally dysfunctional as I am, you will need every map you can get your hands on! (Love Educause – providers of the above map)

Many other great ones are available at http://www.denver.org/transportation/map

Nice vendors, unicorns, and other things you should believe in…

See, unicorns are real...

See, unicorns are real...

ALA Midwinter is in about three weeks.  I’m pretty excited for it.  I’ve never been to an ALA conference, Midwinter or otherwise.  However, this will be the first time that I’ve gone to any conference with the title “vendor”.  In some circles of librarianship I might as well be a leper.  I am, they say, on the dark side.  As if Darth Vader is my drinking buddy and my idea of a good time is laundering money and turning people into speed bumps vis-a-vis Al Capone.

Though I disagree with those Debbie Downers, though I don’t believe a thing they say, and while I will support my choices to the end…I am a tad nervous at the thought of potentially dealing with some overanxious, loud, hyperintellectual who is hellbent on arguing with me about vendors being phooey.  I’ve seen those people.  They need to get out more.  You know who I’m talking about.

Now as a librarian, I will admit to poor behavior towards vendors.  My friends would always ask if I wanted to go to the vendor area and I would say no and coach them to “keep their head down and not make eye contact!”   In hindsight, people in glass houses should not throw stones, and I now realize I was lobbing boulders.

It’s an interesting thing to call libraries who own the software made by my company.  They are shocked that I am calling simply to check in and see if everything is okay.  When I explain that they need not rush off the phone, that I just want to say hello, to make sure that they are happy…they respond with as much belief as if I had said I was actually a dancing unicorn with magical powers.  They cannot believe that I am not calling them to sell them more…to tell them that they need an expensive upgrade or that they just have to have the newest version of something.  Now, many, many, many libraries are exceedingly kind…they love the software and by proxy love me.  As I’ve said in the past, it’s a great feeling and I often find myself smiling dumbly to myself, lost in a sense of happiness that I get to help libraries for living.  It is a painfully geeky confession…someone cue the sappy music.  But every so often, I get those wary libraries, the type that treat me with the same caution one uses when encountering a person who has just announced they just left an asylum.  Politely distant and speaking in a high-pitched tone…slightly strangulated with fear.

I plan to do a whole series of posts on vendor/librarian relations sometime.  That will make me popular, I’m sure.  </snarkiness>  But if you see me at conference, say hi.  I will not bite.  Or sell you anything.  No, seriously.