ALA is Almost Here
I seldom miss the ALA conferences. Ever since the days I worked at a small library and sent myself on my own dime (why should folks only from larger libraries be active in professional association work?), I have been committed to being active in my association. To keep costs down, I always room with a bunch of folks - this time we found a condo near the conference center for $48 each a night! Energy bars, nuts and instant soups are my friends and the Gale shuttle buses my transportation of choice. I now have financial support from my library and state association to cover expenses (finally after 32 years!) but my frugal ways haven't changed. The less I spend, the more money available to others to attend conferences as well.
Although I have been most active in ALSC committees and leadership positions, I am now on Council representing the Wisconsin Library Association and having a great time working in the larger arena. Besides Council work, I plan to check out the exhibits and pore over the upcoming fall books; re-connect in person with friends and colleagues; attend some programs; attend my committee meetings (School Age Services and ALSC Nominations); listen to the Newbery/Caldecott speeches (attending the banquet is pricey; listening is free!); micro-blog for the ALSC blog; stop by a few parties and soak up a little California sun.
Bloggers are beginning to share their tips for conference. Here are two that are getting me psyched. Bobbi over at Librarian by Day has great travel tips and links and Allison at Reading Everywhere shares some strategies on partaking of the conference cheaply. If you don't have plans to be at conference this year, start saving for Chicago next year. That is truly a great conference city and home to our ALA headquarters.
If you will be in Anaheim, drop me a note or a tweet (@lochwouters) and let's get together.