Word of the Day for this past Monday:

abecedarian \ay-bee-see-DAIR-ee-uhn\, noun:
1. One who is learning the alphabet; hence, a beginner.
2. One engaged in teaching the alphabet.

adjective:
1. Pertaining to the letters of the alphabet.
2. Arranged alphabetically.
3. Rudimentary; elementary.

So, I’m looking ahead to June and the ALA Annual conference in D.C. I’ve heard all sorts of opinions on Annual from “don’t bother, it’s too big/expensive/not worth it” to “freebies! networking! parties!” I haven’t done much yet in the way of conferences, certainly nothing with, oh, 30 thousand Nancy Pearls running around (bless her heart … even if she did leave out Connie Willis).

Naturally I started asking around to figure out what this whole Annual thing was all about. Here are some things I’ve learned this week (please feel free to correct, counter and add in the comments):

– ALA is all about committees; you go to Annual to see your tribe, I mean, committee
– not all the events happen in the convention center; a lot of committees hold their stuff in the hotels
– call or email people you know and plan on coffee/lunches beforehand; super important for 1st timers
– if you’re not on a committee, you’re not really in ALA yet
– ALA brings a mobile post office along so you can send yourself all those freebies you pick up
– don’t register at the convention center, register at one of the satellite places, usually a hotel
– did I mention committees?

I think you see the trend I’ve been picking up on. And I’m happy to be active, but how do I choose a committee? There are all those great bloggers in RUSA MARS, and then there’s the great connection between the IRRT and my new job, oh but I should probably hook up with NMRT, too. Doh! Pretty soon I end up with a schedule like this (fast forward to June) in which I’m listening to Meredith Farkas in one room, the European Library Education panel in another, and a librarian from Chile in a third. All at the same time.

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