This weekend is the American Library Association’s annual conference, and I am beyond excited. Yesterday the University of Maryland’s ALA Student Chapter held a pre-conference information session at which two professors and ALA Washington Office Director of the Office of Government Relations Lynne Bradley led us in a Q & A session to calm our fears and anxieties about attending our first Annual. I took a page worth of notes and here is what I concluded:
1. Map it out! The conference is being held in 34 buildings throughout the District, and that isn’t including the huge number of happy hours and receptions being held unofficially at restaurants, bars, and clubs. But I am SO lucky. I just finalized my schedule for the 4 days worth of events, and all but four are at the Washington Convention Center. SWEET! But that doesn’t mean I’m going to return the comfy yet cute shoes I bought especially for this weekend. Because hey, I don’t mind being a stereotype.
2. I will need some caffeine. I am naturally an energetic morning person and can get through a day without tea or coffee or soda. But my schedule has me going Friday evening, 8am-10pm Saturday, 8am-7:30pm Sunday, 8am-10pm Monday, and Tuesday morning. I’m thinking I’ll need a little help from the Starbucks fairy.
3. It’s okay to say “I’m new” or “This is my first time at Annual”. In fact, doing so is beneficial, because someone may want to mentor to you or introduce you to their boss or coworker, or help you get involved. (All of those, by the way, sound fabulous to me!) This is one of those times where my outgoing personality will do me some good. (Wait, when has it not?)