I was able to fit the bill and travel to Dallas, Texas this past week for my first experience at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference. I was nervous due to all of the crazy stuff that has been going on with me since the beginning of the semester. However, I knew that this was just what I needed to further acknowledge that what I am doing is what is right for my life.
I remember when I wanted to become an anthropologist; I was able to travel to Philadelphia, PA, to visit their national conference. I courted several universities, rounded up a couple of mentors, and was ready to enter in to the profession without looking back. After some things were revealed to me, I came to realize that being an anthropologist was not in my destiny. I sat for a year and thought about where I wanted to be in the world of academia and my career profession.
At the beginning of 2011, I was sitting at my computer and the word librarian came to my mind. I immediately started researching what librarians were all about and I was amazed. I found my niche. As I walked in to the Dallas Convention Center, I began to feel what I felt when I first started researching the field of librarianship. This time around, I had a similar image as all of my peers: They All Read Books. All of the conference attendees had their own unique styles and glasses too.
The entire conference was interactive. As I entered the conference, there was an ALA greeter who offered me the daily newspaper. Then, I was able to download my schedule at the ALA Computer Station. Starbucks was right in the middle of the literary traffic as I maneuvered through the traffic. This was too much for me.
I attended the following conference sessions including:
- Lita 201 Interest Group
- Re-Imagining the Public Library in a Post Recession Economy
- The Midwinter Conversation: Understanding Your Communities
- History Librarians Interest Group
- Midwinter Wrap-Up, featuring Lisa Loeb
Undoubtedly, the best part of the conference was the ALA Conference Exhibit. There were a lot of technological aspects in the field that I learned about and tested. In addition, I was able to get free posters, books, bags, t-shirts, and tips. I also met a lot of interesting people that I am going to stay in contact with for the duration of my career.
Lastly, I won a scholarship (the E. J. Josey Academic Scholarship) through the Black Caucus of the American Library Association for an essay I wrote during my first semester of graduate school. I was honored at the Dallas Marriott Hotel during the conference and accepted the $2000.00 award with a smile. The American Library Association’s Midwinter Conference 2012 put a stamp of approval on what I have wanted to do all along with my life.
P.S. –If you are interested in purchasing new books, check out my book list below. It features all of the free advance copies that I received at the conference.