Okay, maybe I’m a little strange, but I really like ALA conferences. Until I started writing for American Libraries and getting uber involved in LITA, I was an occasional attender, but my love for the conference goes back to the fact that I got my first job at an ALA, over a 7am breakfast with an Innovative Interfaces VP. When I started attending regularly, I would fill literally every minute of the day with activity, usually for the magazine, but mostly out of a desire to get as much as possible out of being there. You’d have to check with Leonard Kniffel, but I’m pretty sure this is where the idea for “Hectic Pace” actually came from.
I mistakenly thought that “retiring” from the column would amazingly free up half of my time at the next ALA, but I was wrong. Between LITA, OCLC events, and programming, I find myself completely booked again, and perhaps it’s just as well. I will feel normal.
I have the great pleasure this year of kicking off my ALA by moderating the OCLC Symposium–“The Mashed -Up Library.” I’ve been in on the planning for this and would encourage folks to register for this great event. Yesterday I got to speak to the keynoter, Michael Schrage, who has some wonderful writings and spot-on observations about innovation. I would say that any library that has worried about relevance, funding, and establishing persistence in the information space would be interested in hearing him speak. I’d be interested to meet the librarian who wasn’t worried about any of those things!
Schrage will be joined by three fabulous librarians–Susan Gibbons, David Lee King, and Mary Beth Sancomb-Moran–on a panel that will share creative library mash-ups that are not the kind you’ve heard about over and over again. Insert an ice cream break in the middle of the event and I can’t think of a better way to start ALA in Anaheim. I am certainly looking forward to it.