To those of you readers outside of the library world, the American Library Association (ALA) hosts an annual, and a midwinter conference every year. This January, Boston hosted the ALA Midwinter conference. I completed my MSLIS in December 2013, but haven’t been in a financial position where I have been able to justify going to a conference. I have been fortunate enough to attend a few regional conferences, that I have enjoyed going to though.
In December I heard that my library might provide a van for some staff to go to Boston to see the Exhibit Hall. I was thrilled for a chance to attend even just the exhibits, without any breakout sessions. Upon entering the exhibit hall I was completely overwhelmed.
There were so many booths to visit! I felt like a child on Halloween collecting all of the free candy and swag from vendors as I could. At the end of the day I had a full duffle bag, as well as two shopping bags that were full. I collected ribbons and stickers, pins and funny postcards, as well as posters and even better yet… free books! I hauled home 22 books, and I cannot wait to read them. It’s thrilling to get advanced reading copies of books. I can only hope to make/find time to read them as the Spring semester begins.
Having the chance to go to ALA was exhilarating, and I hope to be able to attend the full conference in the future as my career advances.