Hack ALA

[Hack ALA] What to Bring to ALA and What to Do

Are you ready for ALA Annual? Check out last year’s post on preparing for the conference, “Hack ALA: Professional Preparations.”

ALA exhibit hall

Photo of ALA exhibit hall (Washington, DC, 2007) by Elizabeth Thomsen.

For some extra advice, I asked some of my friends who have gone to ALA what attendees should bring and what they should do while at the conference. Here are their suggestions:

What to Bring

  • Business cards. If you don’t have any yet, make some quick ones on a printer with card stock!
  • Bring clothes that you can layer. Not only is Chicago summer weather fickle, but you will have to deal with variable conference center and hotel air conditioning systems.
  • Granola bars or other portable snacks. You will be booked solid (if you are doing things right) and may forget a meal here or there.
  • An empty water bottle. Stay hydrated!
  • Professional looking pen. (“No bics, man,” says my friend.)
  • Camera (sound settings off if possible for less obtrusive picture-taking).
  • Chargers for your phone, camera, tablet, computer, and other gadgets.
  • Comfortable shoes.
  • Blister creme.

What to Do

  • Make sure to schedule time to network (at more formal events as well as more informally over meals and drinks). Meeting people is as important as attending sessions.
  • If you know that you need time for yourself, make sure to also schedule some downtime away from people, especially if you have roommates.
  • Be ready to pick up swag (free stuff! books! pens! bags! random thing!) at the exhibits.
  • If someone invites you to an event or meal, go! Make lots of friends.

Thanks to Roger, Sarah, Bryan, Julia, and Stephanie for these suggestions!

2 thoughts on “[Hack ALA] What to Bring to ALA and What to Do

  1. Pingback: Off to Chi-Town | Aprilbrarian: From Law to Lib

  2. Pingback: Your Very First Library Student Business Cards | Hack Library School

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