My schedule for this Midwinter was pretty much like pre-retirement: going to meetings, not going to other meetings because of overlapping obligations, seeing long-time friends and meeting new people, and getting lots and lots of new books. My roommate at the Hyatt Regency downtown was my good friend Pat who is director of another suburban library. We live just far enough apart that ALA is our time to catch up.
Non-librarians ask, "What do you do at conferences?" The Midwinter Meeting is primarily to conduct ALA business -- the Council and Executive Board (the governing bodies), the boards of all the divisions, and the hundreds of ALA and division committees. Both Midwinter and Annual are also huge trade shows when publishers and vendors of library databases, equipment, and supplies show what's new. Awards are announced at Midwinter. Notable Adult Books and Youth Media (Newbery, Caldecott, Coretta Scott King, and Michael Printz).
My schedule, in brief:
|Part of the RMRT crowd|
* Friday: Freedom to Read Foundation board (I am liaison to FTRF from the United for Libraries division
|With AAUW & retired librarian friend Ginny|
* Saturday afternoon: Executive Board and Membership Update (ALA business update), followed by the 2015 presidential candidates' forum (4 candidates this year)
Sunday morning we woke up to snow. It snowed all day, turning into the fifth-largest one-day snowfall in Chicago history.
|Snowfall from our hotel room window|
The shuttle buses navigated slippery Lake Shore Drive to get conference-goers to McCormick Place.
* I facilitated a Kitchen Table Conversation, a group activity to solicit members' ideas to improve ALA.
* Sunday afternoon: the University Press Books for Public and School Libraries committee met. (See my books for this year's bibliography in this post).
** My second committee meeting, scheduled from 3-5 p.m., was cancelled due to the blizzard. We will have to have a conference call to catch up.
* Sunday evening, back at the Hyatt: my friend Carol and I had dinner in the hotel restaurant. It was crowded, rather like being in a college dining hall: we all sort of knew one another. I did not intend to watch the Super Bowl but it was playing on about two dozen TV screens all around us, so I could not miss it. (Go Patriots!!!!)
The storm had blown over Monday morning. Pat and I slept in and did not make it to the MLK Sunrise Observance at 6:30. We took a later shuttle to McCormick. She had a Council meeting and I did another turn through the exhibits. The vendors don't want to take stuff home so there are bargains to be had! I filled two tote bags to overflowing. In all I spent $136 to ship mostly free books. (And I still have to pick up a totebag that a ZBPL colleague took back with her.)
|Ready for signing|
|Singer sign in the ladies' room at Russian Tea Time|
* Monday evening: a group of us always have dinner on the Monday evening of the conference. This time there were six of us. We went to Russian Tea Time on East Adams.
Tuesday morning I took the train home. My ALA boxes arrived the same day! I have lots of reading to do.
|Got books? I do!|