Ok I’m totally bias because I was both an organizer and a speaker but I think the pre-conference on teen services was pretty awesome. Parts of it were baffling to me because the presenters were talking about huge projects that go light-years beyond my budget, but I loved hearing from people with high standards for teen services in libraries. It’s so encouraging to be surrounded by people who are doing great work or who aspire to. I love the positive energy of conferences. Sometimes at work it’s about
what we can’t do, but at PD events it’s all about the possibilities. That optimism and forward thinking is what I miss about being a student.For more about the pre-conference see http://clasy.wordpress.com
I enjoyed the CLA book awards. Kenneth Oppel and Mary Louise Gay were there (squeal-worthy authors if you don’t know them) along with some yummy food (pear with goat cheese and pecans, omg!). Long line-ups for the book signing but some good networking happened.
The Expo didn’t have as much swag or the variety of vendors that OLA did. I was disappointed with the size of it and the lack of publisher/author presence. I did get some posters, a book and some ideas but it could have been better.
Attended some great sessions, and some ok sessions. I think that CLA is best for theory and management ideas rather than practical learning, which is maybe why so many upper management types and academic librarians were there (plus they’re the ones with funding). Some of the trends I noticed were that selection help (finding what to read) and closing the digital divide (providing computer access and even gaming access) were major roles of libraries. My library is taking steps towards the first one, with a changing catalogue and personalized booklists, but I would like to see more progress with the second topic.
In between sessions I explored the area, especially the nerdy venues. Strange Adventures comic book store was awesome. The staff was fabulous, helpful and handsome (I love my nerd boys), they said they’d mail me some comics, and I think I might have to give them long distance business since I can’t get what I want around here. Totally scored some free comics left over from free comic book day too.
The other fantastic store with amazing staff was Woozles. They sponsored the pre-conference so we had to check them out, actually I would have anyway because it’s a children’s and YA bookstore and that’s how I roll. Lisa who works there also chaired the book award committee and from what I hear runs some awesome reading programs for kids. I wish I could have bought more from them but I would have had trouble getting it all on the plane!