Representing the TLA Black Caucus Round Table at the 100th Texas Library Conference was an in honor during April 24-27th, in Fort Worth, Texas. The conference was held at the (Downtown) Tarrant County Convention Center. There were over 7,000 librarians that attended the conference.
As a graduate student, this was my first TLA Conference, and I wanted to learn as much as I could about the new trends in librarianship, networking with others and getting to know people outside of an academic setting. There was a lot going on. The movers and shakers were ready to network, and I definitely made sure that I had business card printed up and ready!
There were many sessions available to attend during the conference. One session that had a profound effect on me: The Use of Information Technology: Social Media & Mobile Devices in the Libraries of the Future. This session was jumping from the beginning to the end, presented by The University of North Texas Library Science Department. It was held at the Amon G. Carter Lecture Room–Texas Wesleyan University of Law.
The session featured information about technology, Mobile Applications in Libraries, Teen iPad Programs, Mobile Solutions, Social Media & Mobile Devices and Apps. I took so notes during this workshop. I was amazed at the amount of information that the presenter’s put together for the event.
There were two author luncheons that I attended. The Black Caucus Round Table Author’s Brunch featuring Carl Weber was located at the Tarrant County Convention Center; the author talked about his rise to prominence in the writing industry. I appreciated his honesty about how and why he decided to start writing. The author was funny at times and kind enough to stay after the event to sign books for fans. Additionally, everyone that attended the author’s reception received a copy of his new book for free!
I got a chance to check out the Bob Ray Sanders Author Reception at the Omni Hotel. Journalist, Bob Ray Sanders is a legend in Fort Worth, Texas, and a community advocate. His discussion about his first book that was published by Texas Christian University was very interesting, as he did a historical depiction through photography; the works were by Calvin LittleJohn.
I volunteered at the Black Caucus Round Table booth for two days and I met a lot of people. The organization received a lot of compliments about the exhibition on the Black Cowboys from the West. In like manner, I was able to talk with conference-goers about the Black Caucus Round Table, and the different opportunities that are available to new members and graduate students. I was also sat with current members in the caucus; they shared information with me about their previous experiences as members.
One of the best moments was when I got to check out the exhibit hall. It was all that and then some. I walked away with at least 20 books for FREE, all types of memorabilia, and information about future events and happenings in the library world. It was a great opportunity to see a lot of vendors and network with other librarians and graduate students.
Towards the ending of the conference, I checked out the last reception and Neil Gaiman was the guest speaker. He was brilliant and made me want to continue to write and blog. I truly fell in love with his speech and made sure that I was in the moment with him while he talked. After that, I witnessed Dr. Yvonne Chandler receive her post as the President of the Texas Library Association.
The opportunity that I received to attend the Texas Library Conference on behalf of the TLA Black Caucus Round Table was an honor. I received words of encouragement from all of the leadership in attendance, and was given extra gifts to bring back home as a result of winning a couple of the door prizes at the events that I was invited to attend.
I look forward to being involved with the organization and also to attend the 2014 Texas Library Association Conference, in San Antonio, Texas.