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Journey into Libraryland

June 23, 2011

I struggled to come up with a topic for this post. Not because I had a lack of options, but because there are so many things that I have on my mind (i.e. podcasts, ethics, school library media, job searching, etc.), it was hard to narrow it down to just one.

If this seems disjointed and rambling, now you know why.

I’m typing this on a plane to New Orleans and the ALA Annual Conference. I am looking forward to spending some time lost in Libraryland and what is actually going on. I love school, but it lacks the practical knowledge that fellow professionals can provide. It’s all well and good to talk about collection development and reference services, but those professors haven’t interacted with actual patrons for years (decades, in some cases). It will be rewarding to be with those who have been in constant interaction with patrons and can give practical advice from years of experience. I’ve been thinking about what I want to do when I leave school (another year!) and I’ve stumbled upon the term Instructional Librarianship, which seems to marry my education experience with my library experience, so I’m really hoping to get a better grasp of what is and is not possible and what the trends in instruction librarianship may be. My real interest in the area lies in creating instructional librarianship positions in lesser understood areas, such as archives, who could really benefit from improved user services.

Libraryland

image taken from http://nerdfighters.ning.com headings added by me.

I had a small panic attack last night as I was making last minute adjustments (leave the gun, take the cannoli) to my bags. I had no firm plans or expectations of what ALA would hold. I’ve never been to a conference before: where do I go, what’s the proper etiquette, what should I expect, which activities should I attend, who do I give my business cards to, should I take a stack of resumes, on and on. In the end I decided this would be my training conference. I’m going to observe things and probably wander into sessions with my friends (including fellow blogger Meggan), but I’m not going to stress about doing everything, because it is not possible to do everything I could possibly want to do. Next year, I’ll have a better idea of where I’m going and what is expected of a conference participant.  I’m thinking of it like it’s an intro course into the world of libraryland.

If you’re in New Orleans and want to meet up for some good ol’ networking (or just to hang out somewhere cool) then email me and we’ll figure something out! (emily.johnson314@gmail.com)

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