In case you haven’t yet had the opportunity to be introduced to the idea of professional networking, here’s a quick intro: librarians near and far, from all varieties of the field, twice a year attend gigantic conferences hosted by our preeminent organization, the American Library Association. There are constant debates about the value of membership in this organization, and we highly encourage all readers to throughly investigate how and where they plan to invest their professional time. That said, I (Micah) think its important to be part of ALA for the very reason this blog exists, to support the idea of “Big Tent Librarianship” and build connections with peers and colleagues in different areas of work.
So, I’ll be attending ALA Midwinter in Dallas this weekend, along with my fellow HackLibSchool writers Teresa and Ashley. Here are a few tips/pointers/suggestions if you’re a student or recent grad heading to the conference:
1. Bring a water bottle
2. Carry your phone charger with you
3. Wear comfortable shoes (but fashionable, of course!)
4. Contact the ALA New Members Round Table (NRMT) – they’re here for you!
5. Get out, be personable and meet people!
6. Contact Micah (micahvandegrift [at] gmail) if you want to be added to the ALAMW GroupMe group chat/text thingie. Smart phone not required! Great way to stay in touch, find out where the good sessions are, organize a lunch or breakfast, and generally make new friends!
7. Use ALA Connect’s Conference Scheduler to get organized and plan out the sessions you’re attending. Seriously. Invaluable.
And to facilitate #5, we are happy to promote several social events that are a great way to connect with new colleagues.
- NRMT Midwinter Social - Saturday 5:30-7:30 at City Tavern
- 5th Annual Newbie and Veteran Librarian Midwinter Tweetup – Saturday 7:30- 10:00 at Anvil Pub
(and selfishly, two events close to our hearts):
- New Members Discussion Group: What I Wished I’d Learned in Library School panel discussion. Sunday 10:30am -12:00 pm at the Sheraton Lone Star Ballroom, C3. (Micah is one of the panelists.)
- Hack Library School/Library Boing Boing Meetup – Sunday 7:00-9:00pm at Adairs Saloon.
Hope to see some of you in Dallas! Don’t be shy, come up and say hello!
Bonus: Check out this series of posts from last year’s ALA Annual Conference to get a sense of how we hack conferences.