ALA Conference: Chicago Summer 2013

My fantastic summer of adventures has come to a close. I am home in Vermont settling back into a routine of working full-time for the National Park Service and part-time as a waitress at the local (only) restaurant in town.  I have been home for two weeks already and my brain is still buzzing from my experiences in Chicago attending the American Library Association's Annual Conference.  So many librarians in one place! I had a fabulous time traveling with new friends from GSLIS and catching up with old friends from undergrad during spare moments away from the conference.

Highlights from my trip include:

  • Opening remarks from Freakonomics author Steven D.  Levitt
  • Attending a panel of graphic novel authors and artists who discussed the growing popularity of the graphic novel format
  • Trying my first ever Chicago style hot dog
  • Engaging in a heated discussion about the role of prison libraries at the Intellectual Freedom Roundtable
  • Listening to nominees for the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction praise the role of libraries as important influencers in their lives
  • Meeting Alice Walker (author of The Color Purple) and listening to her read aloud from her latest new books The World Will Follow Joy and A Cushion in the Road
  • Concluding my travels with a week in Northern Michigan on Drummond Island with one of my best friends and her family

I could continue with more highlights but suffice it to say, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and was completely overwhelmed the entire time (except my relaxing days in Michigan).  The conference exhibit hall alone is enough to occupy and overstimulate; I went home with more free books than I would have imagined possible.  Meeting and conversing with librarians from all over the country renewed my confidence that I have found the right future profession.  The only problem I have now is the challenge of figuring out which direction to pursue... will I work in reference or with young adults? in a public library, or for a corporation or law office? I am hopeful that my courses next semester and a possible job opportunity (fingers crossed!) will help narrow my focus as my time at GSLIS continues to fly by.

For now I plan to enjoy the little free time I have in Vermont and continue to tackle my ever growing list of must read books. 


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