Hack ALA ’14: Round-Up and Meet-Up!

We are excited to announce there will be a Hack Library School meet-up at ALA Annual this year! Please join us at Firefly on Monday, June 30, at 6:30 PM. Space is limited, so please sign up here! We look forward to meeting like-minded library school students and sharing our ALA experiences!

Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/alaannual

Official Hashtag: #alaac14

Las Vegas, by Moyan Brenn on Flickr. CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Las Vegas, by Moyan Brenn on Flickr. CC BY 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/


To get in the mood for my first trip back to Las Vegas in almost two decades, I’m streaming this danceable playlist VIBE made for Electric Daisy Carnival (which will be taking over Vegas this weekend) and browsing the UNLV Libraries digital collections, including a fascinating selection of showgirl costume design. Oh, and rapper Lizzo (remember her from last week’s roundup?) premiered a stunning new video yesterday shot in Las Vegas, featuring dancer Lil Buck and a tiger cub!

As I try to wade through the overwhelming conference schedule, this dh+lib guide to digital humanities-relevant sessions will be a lifesaver! Since this will be my fourth conference of the season, I’m plotting a few hours’ escape to sample Las Vegas’ best donuts and to take in 18b, The Las Vegas Arts District, especially the Graffiti Walk mapped by Ed Fuentes of Paint This Desert. I also just started scouring this ArtsGuide from the ACRL Arts Section for more can’t-miss cultural attractions. Last but not least, I’m penciling in the party co-hosted by Que(e)ry, the GLBT Round Table, and Librarian Wardrobe on Sunday night at The Phoenix. A suggested donation of $10 benefits The Burlesque Hall of Fame.

Have some time on Friday afternoon? Come by ProQuest Day to hear me discuss curiosity, creativity, and how library school sets us up to fail our researchers at the session Discovery in the Research Ecosystem! June 27th, 2:00-3:00 pm at the Convention Center, free with registration.


This will be my first trip to Las Vegas, but my second ALA Annual. My first Annual was two years ago, as part of the ALA Student-to-Staff Program, so I’m curious to see how my first Annual will compare to this one. ALA committee meetings will replace volunteer work, and those meeting times and locations are fixed already. Beyond that, there are SO many programs I want to attend that there’s no way I’ll be able to do everything! I’m tweaking my ALA schedule daily, but most of the programs and session that have stuck so far relate to electronic resources and Technical Services issues. One of the sessions I’m looking forward to is E-Books: Discovering the Virtual Backlog.

On the fun side, I’ve signed up for a Thursday evening tour of the Neon Museum in Las Vegas!  This tour has gotten great reviews on TripAdvisor, and I’m hoping it’ll help me adjust to the time zone change (from Eastern to Pacific) quickly. I’m also looking forward to attending the ALA14 After Hours Party (co-sponsored by EveryLibrary, Mango, and Treehouse) Saturday night at the Arts Factory in the Las Vegas Arts District mentioned above by Anna-Sophia. Sunday night, I’ll be at the  LLAMA Happy Hour I helped organize as a member of the LLAMA Membership Committee. (We’d love to see you there!) The Hack Library School Meetup on Monday night will be a fitting end to my ALA Annual ’14 experience!


I am attending ALA Annual as a participant in the ALA Student-to-Staff program, representing Valdosta State University. This program sends 40 library school students to ALA Annual each year in exchange for 16 hours of work during the conference. I’ll be working in Networking Uncommons, where ALA conference goers are welcome to hold quick group meetings, host impromptu discussions, check out gadgets, and recharge electronic equipment. If you decide to stop by, please say hi! Fellow HLS contributing writer Casey McCoy, who is also participating, and I will be writing a summary of our experience in the Student-to-Staff program, so keep an eye out for that in July!

I plan to kick-off ALA with the ALATT Vegas All-Conference Pre-Party (tickets required) on Thursday night. I’m looking forward to the Emerging Leader poster session on Friday at 3:00 PM, especially since HLS alumna Annie Pho is a participant this year! This is followed by the opening general session featuring Jane McGonigal, who wrote an intriguing book arguing for the benefits of playing games. As a gamer myself, currently working my way through the delightful and absolutely beautiful Child of Light, I find games to be an excellent way to relieve stress related to graduate school and, therefore, I’m excited to hear what she has to say.

As the incoming Chair of the ALA Arts Membership and Outreach Committee, I will up bright and early and ready for our committee meeting on Saturday morning. I am both thrilled and (honestly) terrified that my first ALA committee appointment is Chair, but I look forward to the rewards and challenges this appointment will bring. I will then attend the Metadata and Indicators for Open Access session before heading to the Image Resources Interest Group meeting at 1:00-2:30 PM. I am presenting a lightning round during this meeting, titled Institutional Repositories: Powerful Tools to Preserve MFA Work, which will briefly summarize a recent project and outline the next steps in the process of preserving MFA work at the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. I’m looking forward to the ALA14 After Hours Party that evening.

As I won’t have time to explore much of Vegas during the day due to my work commitments, I plan to attend the ArtVegas: Everything You Wanted to Know and More session so I can learn more about the Las Vegas arts scene. And I can hardly contain my excitement that Lois Lowry, one of my favorite authors, and The Dude (who goes by Jeff Bridges in real life) will be featured in the ALA President’s Program that afternoon!

One of the sessions that I’m looking forward to the most, as I think it will be the most helpful for me, is Get Writing! Overcome Procrastination, Remove Roadblocks, and Create a Map to Success. I’d love to have something published before I graduate next year and I want to be smart, efficient, and productive when I write my Capstone paper. It’s no secret that writing is a large part of academic librarianship, so I hope this session will give me to tools and strategies I need for success.

I plan to attend one or two shows. I’m currently considering The Rat Pack is Back, because I love rat pack music and it oozes Vegas cheese (in a good way), and one of the Cirque du Soleil shows, perhaps Mystère? Let me know if you have any recommendations!


Like Courtney I am also attending Annual as a Student-to-Staff member as a representative of my wonderful alma mater: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Luckily I received my top choice to work with YALSA, which includes welcoming guests at The Michael L. Printz Reception, setting up the Margaret A. Edwards Brunch and signing in young adult authors for the YA Author Coffee Klatch. To say I am beyond excited is an understatement.

Outside of working with YALSA next week I am also very excited to explore Vegas and meet other professionals. Like Courtney (I swear this is merely coincidence) I will be attending the ALATT Vegas All-Conference Pre-Party and the ALA14 After Hours Party, which are both great excuses to get out of the conference center and get a small taste of Vegas with some awesome people. I also recently graduated and started a full-time job as a Program Coordinator for a small suburb library — someday I will post more about this as a final farewell to HLS — so plan on attending my first Programming Librarians Interest Group Meeting as well as the “Programming Over Pancakes” breakfast at Hash House A Go Go.

Outside of all the networking, volunteering and note taking I am most eager about the wonderful Jane Fonda speaking bright and early Saturday morning. Those who know me can attest to my awkward fan girl tendencies and those attending this program will most likely witness them as well.

I am greatly looking forward to meeting my virtual friends in real life next week, but for the rest remember to follow #alaac14 and #‎alas2s14‬ (Student-to-Staff) as we tweet all the library things!

3 replies

  1. Hey Guys!

    I am a local of the fabulous Las Vegas. I hope you all enjoy your time while you are here! This will be my first ALA conference! If anyone needs anything while in town feel free to reach out to me!

    Liked by 1 person

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