At CMLE we always encourage people to attend conferences. It’s a great way to keep up on interesting developments in the profession, to find people who do what you do professionally, and to enjoy yourself with a bunch of other library people! You can learn things, meet people, and make all kinds of connections in a way that takes longer and is harder to do online.
Note: The Minnesota Library Association Annual Conference, and the ITEM Annual Conference are both coming up in October!! We have scholarship money for you, to help defray the cost! These are just great opportunities for you, no matter what you do in a library; so consider attending! You can always contact us here at CMLE to ask questions about conferences, to talk about ideas you have, or just to get tips on attending.
Below is a quick recap of my trip to the ALA Annual Conference. This is such a huge conference that any individual look at it is just overwhelming with the amount of possible things to do, people to meet, and information to absorb! Browse around the website for yourself, to find all kinds of info; and check on social media to follow the #ALALeftBehind hashtag. If you are in a library or archive or museum or history center, or even if you just like books – this is YOUR conference!!
It is held this week every year – please check it out for yourself in future years! There is also a Midwinter conference every year in late January, where the focus is on vendor exhibits and meetings with committees. Check out the meeting locations for the next ten years, so you can start making plans to attend now! (There are several coming up in Chicago over the next few years; this is ALA’s home, and being so close to us is a real bonus!)
There were more than 700 vendors at this conference, and you can see them all here. Hundreds of authors were there; you can see them all here. Over 2,000 sessions were held, on every topic you can imagine (and some that will boggle your mind!); you can browse all of them here. Whether or not you were able to attend a session, if something seems really important to you, or valuable to your work, or you just get excited about the topic, you can contact the presenter directly (do some Googling!) and ask for information or slides or any handouts. Most presenters are happy to share their information – that is why they are at the conference. And as a frequent conference presenter myself, I can say that it feels great when people are interested in your work!
We will have all kinds of material available here at CMLE HQ; so feel free to come look through it all! Yes, I also picked up a lot of giveaways for you guys! We will be distributing out Advance Reader Copies (ACRs) of books not yet published, all kinds of pins to show library pride, posters, and other assorted items! (I have a plastic sandwich holder for some lucky person!) We will get some of this up on our website, so you know what we have available; but don’t hesitate to stop by and just browse! We have two large flat-rate post office boxes full of stuff, plus my backpack jammed full of things, plus a Trader Joe’s canvas bag stuffed with material we want to share with you. Make our distribution work easier by coming over to browse for yourself!