Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: ALA, 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014

ALA, 2014

Im_AttendingLas Vegas in June: "It's a dry heat," someone observed. "But so is cremation," was the response. I assure you that 105 is hot, regardless of the lack of humidity.  The American Library Association last met in Las Vegas in 1973.  Back then ALA had just over 30,000 members and 8,539 attended that conference.  Forty-one years later membership is about 56,000, and 18,500 attended the conference. (That's fewer than last year -- 26,362 in Chicago -- but more than 2012 -- 16,700 in Anaheim.)  This was the 31st annual conference that I have attended since 1984. (I missed 1991.)   Because I registered for the conference before I retired, my badge had the library's name. I made new business cards that identify me as "retired librarian, quiltmaker, community volunteer." It was odd not to look for programs that might have value at the library.  My schedule was fairly full with committee obligations and as it was I missed some speakers that I'd have liked to hear.

libraries transforming communities logo

  I did get to two of four sessions about   Libraries Transforming Communities .  This initiative aligns with what I practiced as a librarian and continue to seek "with strings attached."

The Best of the Best is a panel book review by members of the University Press Books Committee. I've served on the committee for many years and have chaired it the past two.   Committee members are public and high school librarians.  Each fall university presses send us their new titles that they think may appeal to public and school libraries. We are each assigned certain Dewey decimal ranges.  At Annual some of us -- four this year -- give book talks about the books we consider outstanding.  (This year I talked about Becoming Tom Thumb, by Eric D. Lehman, and Shadow Master: The Extraordinary Life of Pauline Benton, by Grant Hayter-Menzies.)  There were 32 people in the audience, more than we've had in the past. And I want to read several of the books that my co-committee members reviewed.)

There was time for fun!  On Thursday evening my roommate, Carol from Indiana, and I went to the MGM Grand to see Ka by Cirque du Soleil .  Neither of us had seen a Cirque performance before and this was magnificent -- the acrobatics, the dancing, and the stage set.  We had great seats.

David & grandkids in his vegetable garden
On Saturday evening I had dinner with family friends Beth and David. They knew Stevens and me when we were courting (Pittsburg, Kansas, 1980).  They moved to Texas and then to Florida and last year retired to Henderson, Nevada.  Their daughter Dana, son-in-law Matt, and grandchildren Lia and Max were there, too, as well as their SIL's business partners.  Matt is an academic librarian who created Pictoscope , an online discovery index to digitized pictures. (Pictoscope had a booth in the exhibit hall.) It was a lovely evening in the good company of long-time friends.

 I manage to work quilting into everything, of course.
The ALA Biblioquilters contributed ten quilts to this year's scholarship auction.  Bidding was up to $3430 at 10:30 Sunday morning. The auction closed that afternoon and I need to find out the final prices.

I donated "Crossed Stars," made from blocks I won at Block Lotto.

'nuff said!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had a great time. A Cirque show is definitely on my bucket list. How they even think of the things they do amazes me.


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