ALA Midwinter 2010, part 2: fame and glory, endings, beginnings

First off, ALA Midwinter’s pretty much over — they’re rolling up the Networking Uncommons projection screen, Twitter’s jammed with people at the airport, nothing going on but some committee meetings. And I kinda want to cry.

I’d been looking forward, in an abstract way, to professional networking, but last week was packed with so many highs and lows, emotions pulling in all different directions, I didn’t really have it in me to build up a good wave of excitement.

And then Friday, still figuring out how to navigate the schedule, but things picked up with the LITA happy hour, great company, food, booze, and Saturday I was getting the hang of things some more, and then Sunday, oh my god, Sunday.

8am to see Atul Gawande (read everything he’s ever written; you won’t regret it), cut through the exhibit floor to grab coffee and get waylaid by a robot on my way to a resume critique, then off to the Top Tech Trends panel where we twittered til we broke it, OCLC developer network luncheon with all sorts of inspiring ideas for how to tap into their huge pile of tasty tasty data (the API looks easy! I can do that!), the awesomely themed Set Sail for Fail with its surprise Battledecks (see below), then met up with Jason Price from the Claremont consortium libraries who kindly made some time for me, Claremont alum (got back $3.50ish in coffee from the $100K I gave them, plus some great advice on the academic job market), then off to a panel I couldn’t even parse because my brain was full, then the blog salon, more good people, crackers, cheese, then crashing the Elsevier party…

Thirteen and a half straight hours of infodump and social contact high. Love it. Love it. @pcsweeney, @buffyjhamilton, @JanieH, @LibrarianJP (Jersey ftw!), @OCLCdevnet, @bohyunkim, @artficlinanity, @gluejar (you know you’ve picked the fun events where the cool peeps will be if you keep running into @gluejar), @andrewkpace, @libraryfuture, @wawoodworthDon Lemke, Jason Price, all you other people I don’t have on Twitter or who were lost in the weekend’s blur…Thanks so much. I knew librarians would be easy to talk to. I didn’t know I’d feel that at home with you all. (Nor did I know how much librarians like to drink. Which may have helped with the talking.)

@pcsweeney, I promise you I’ll think about how to swing the logistics for Annual, because I am heading into some serious withdrawal right now.

Oh. Right. Battledecks. (People do keep asking.)

Battledecks! aka powerpoint karaoke. You get a topic, you get a deck of 15 unfamiliar slides, you get 5 minutes to give a talk on that topic with the slides — you see them for the first time during the talk. Be lucid, be engaging, sound like you planned it, don’t go over.

I should back up for a moment and say my major goal for ALA Midwinter was building myself a professional network, getting my name out there.

And Battledecks plays straight into two things for me: one, I need to say yes to more crazy experiences, and two, five years of middle school teaching experience. Babbling like I meant it without a lesson plan? Hell yeah I know how to do that.

So I did.

Observe my glorious victory (shared with librarianbyday). Heck, while you’re at it, observe my actual presentation. (Apparently it was livestreaming, which I am darn glad I did not know, or the adrenalin/blind panic might have flipped over from “good” to “bad”…) I got tweeted by people with bunches of followers.

In re that goal of mine: This was a triumph. I’m making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS. It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction.

You know, it’s not that far to DC.

6 thoughts on “ALA Midwinter 2010, part 2: fame and glory, endings, beginnings

  1. So glad to have met you in Boston. I did not know that you are a former middle school teacher — I did several years with 7th and 8th graders as well. It does prepare for you anything.

    You must find a way to come to DC… simply must.


    1. Yup, middle school Latin — 7th through 9th, all boys. 5 years. And now you know the secret of my Battledecks ability ;). Did you teach in the Princeton area, too?

      Lusting heavily after DC. Childcare, finances questionable. But I did find a travel scholarship I need to apply for (just as soon as I think of a better justification for my essay than “I have to defend my Battledecks title and party with my new pals”…hm, maybe I’ll call it “networking”).


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