It's been nine years since the ALA Annual Conference was held in Washington. I looked back in my records: of the 33 Annuals I've attended since 1984 four have been in Washington. (I've also been to Washington for three ALA Midwinter Meetings, several legislative days, and WHCLIS
-- and three AAUW national conventions.)
Pat and I arrived on Wednesday, June 19. We had time to see the Phillips Collection
that afternoon. (Two Chicagoans raised on the Art Institute found the Renoir right away.)
The Freedom to Read Foundation
met all day Thursday. I've been the liaison to FTRF from United for Libraries
for five years or so. It's a great assignment.
After the Legacy Society
lunch on Friday Pat and I went to the National Portrait Gallery
. We enjoyed several of the galleries -- and then everything changed.
We were hustling along the mezzanine level of one wing. Pat tripped over an electrical cord (it was taped down; she just stepped wrong), twisted and fell. Hard. The museum personnel and security guards were great. The DCFD paramedics were great. The ambulance took us to George Washington University Hospital. We were in the ER for five hours -- x-ray determined broken hip, MRI determined no concussion -- finally a room was available for her.
I went to see her to take her suitcase and before I left. (Annoyingly, the flowers that I ordered on behalf of the Retired Members Round Table were never delivered.) Pat was in the hospital until Tuesday when she was released to a rehab facility in DC. It will be two or three weeks until they deem it safe for her to fly (or be driven) home to Chicago. Her brother is her next of kin and he and his family will arrange for that stage. DC-area library friends have visited and will provide on-site assistance.
Meanwhile, the conference continued! In addition to committee meetings I went to five book-and-author sessions. Here I am with Karine Jean-Pierre whose memoir will be published this fall. (I told her that my husband is one of her biggest fans. She signed a copy of the book to him "with love and respect." He was thrilled. :))
The Freedom to Read Foundation celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala reception on Saturday evening.
I used the fREADom banner I made last month in my ad in the program book.
Americans and the Holocaust is the new exhibit at the National Holocaust Museum
. I got an invitation to an after-hours special showing. (They're offering grants to libraries for a touring version.) Americans were well aware of the Nazi persecution but the Federal executive and legislative branches severely limited the number of Jews allowed to emigrate.
I saw two long-time friends.
I've known Lorene since 1972 -- library school at Mizzou. She's been director of the Beatrice, NE, public library for 42 years. Not retired yet!
In 1981 my husband hired Bob to be government documents librarian at Pittsburg State University. Bob was appointed dean of the library in 1985. He retired about eight years ago and stayed in Pittsburg though he travels extensively.
Here's a shot of the exhibit floor.
I shipped five boxes of book and swag.
They were in the front hall when I got home.
Next post: quilts and post-conference adventures!