Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: Midwinter report: friends, quilts, books

Monday, January 18, 2016

Midwinter report: friends, quilts, books

 The ALA Midwinter Meeting used to be a meetings-only conference.  The ALA Council (the governing body) and dozens of division committees met to conduct business.  Vendors of books, supplies, and equipment showed their wares.  Nowadays the meetings are still held, though a lot of discussion occurs online beforehand, and some committee members attend virtually.  The trade show is huge.  There are programs (geared toward ALA initiatives, rather than the great-ideas-at-my-library panels at the annual conference). There are book and media awards -- the Newbery and Caldecott Medals most famously, as well as awards for adult books.

I left a day beforehand to allow a visit with my Magpie friend Celia who lives just north of Boston. She picked me up at the airport. After lunch we went to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell.  An exhibit from Quilts Japan opened that very day.  Here are photos of a few of the exquisite selections.   

We had our picture taken in the NEQM library.  The museum has an ongoing book and pattern sale. Both Celia and I indulged. I bought a sashiko kit in the gift shop to stitch on during the conference.

On Thursday morning we went to the Museum of Fine Arts. Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer was a superb exhibit.

That afternoon Celia took me to my hotel (the Westin, adjacent to the Boston Convention & Expo Center).  I refocused my attention to library matters, though quilts did come up a few times.  (Here is my contribution to "the library of the future.") 

A couple of years ago I redecorated a badge holder. The BiblioQuilter ribbon is sewn on. The others are stuck on and change from conference to conference.

All my committee meetings went well (Freedom to Read Foundation, Retired Members Round Table and its first-ever book discussion, University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries). I heard inspiring and interesting authors (some celebrities, some not).

This is Sen. Cory Booker.

The exhibits in full swing.
Conference attendance this year: 10,805.

Skip works for Penguin/Random House. I saw the edge of the handkerchief in his coat pocket. "Is that Tammis Keefe?" I asked. Indeed!

The conference was a great time to catch up with friends.
Liz, Jim, and I all grew up in the same town. We all became librarians. We all served on the ALA Executive Board. (Now she lives in Colorado, he lives in Virginia, and I'm back in Illinois.) [Photo taken at the Executive Board Survivors Dinner.]

Celia was my guest at the United for Libraries Gala Author Tea on Monday. Pat is my roommate. Peggy and Lila are part of our Monday evening dinner group.

This is the console table on our hotel floor, our last morning. Not only did librarians leave books they'd gotten at the exhibits, but someone also made a nice display.  The housekeepers had begun their shift. One of them said that a stack of books was left in one of the rooms with a note inviting the staff to help themselves. True librarians:  getting books to people everywhere!

Pat's last meeting ended at 10:30 Tuesday. Shortly after noon Joan picked us up (more accurately, she'd hired a driver) and we went to her house in Providence, RI.  We had a lovely day and a half there -- catching up on sleep and dining very, very well.  Wednesday evening's dinner included another long-time friend, Rose Ellen. It was so good to see her again!

 Pat and I were on the same flight from PVD-ORD. Clear skies, on-time. The limo got me home at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.  Four of the five boxes of books and conference swag arrived before I did. The fifth was delivered Friday morning.

(Winter reading with chocolate on top. The Hershey-filled silver can was a guessing-game prize.)

 Totebags, notebooks, pens . . . and an iPhone amplifier that really works, a box of matches (handy!), a flashlight/screwdriver/level, lip balm, and a car-lighter USB port.

My favorite souvenir -- a magnet from the MFA gift shop.

1 comment:

  1. Looks like a tremendously fun time all around. And I believe Celia could pass as your sister.


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