With ALA just around the bend (Thursday!!), I thought it'd be good to write a bit about my preparation for the conference. In September 2012, my professor emphasized the importance of attending professional conferences--networking, job hunting, understanding big topics in the field, feeling the throes of thousands of librarians gathering to embrace their careers as resources to their communities and the changes within... Immediately, I knew I wanted to attend. Why?
1. I could get funding (and I did!)
2. It gave me five days off in the midst of my final semester (mini professional vacation)
3. I could go somewhere and really see how library land operates on a larger level--no matter what they teach you in your program, you can't begin to understand librarianship until you're with librarians and in the field.
So, I did. And, I wanted other people to attend. As Co-President for our Student Chapter of ALA, I recruited seven other students from Pitt to attend ALA in Chicago this year.
Then, I joined NMRT committees to prepare for next year, and I volunteered to write a piece for NMRT's Footnotes recapping my experience at the conference. I'll be discussing how my preparation shaped up against my experience. I suppose this post is preparing me for that article.
Next? #nmrtchat . First Twitter chat ever, and first time discussing library stuff with librarians whom I don't know. Extremely exciting. I even gushed when people responded to my questions and yelled at my boyfriend to come look. Of course, he couldn't feel the excitement I did.
I also signed up for the NMRT Mentor/Mentee program, and I am happily paired with a recent librarian from Loyola Marymount University. We'll be meeting up at the conference.
Now... I am reading Footnotes, blogposts from Librarian Wardrobe, asking professors at Pitt, watching webinars about attending the conference. I'm also reading the million emails from the Information Literacy, NMRT, and College Libraries listservs and scanning the #ala2013 feed for any recommendations.
I'm pretty sure that the other students are getting tired of my "You have to check this out!" emails at this point. We're doing our final preparation meeting tonight, where we'll share tips with one another.
So, am I prepared? Well, after looking at the Scheduler and being frustrated there are 7 things I want to do at 8:30 Sunday morning, I'm hoping so. I'm going in with an open mind, business cards, walking shoes, an extra bag, and my phone charger, as well as a spare book if I have time. I've also finished all of my assignments due during the conference, so no worries there.
I'll at least be happy to return and share everything I've learned since attending. Hope to see everyone there!
Recent MLIS graduate & lover of writing. This is a narrative of my first look into the librarian profession.