New Jersey Library Association 2013

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The Atlantic is out there, somewhere

A colleague and I drove down to Atlantic City early Tuesday morning two weeks ago for the New Jersey Library Association’s Annual Conference. On the drive down (referred to as “pre-conference”), we talked about present jobs, past jobs, library school, and library trends. On the drive back up (“post-conference”), we listened to Beyoncé.

Here’s what went down at NJLA13 for me:

  • Stood by/presented a poster with SCARLA about Literacy Instruction education for MLIS students;
  • Trawled the Exhibits Hall for tote bags/candy/pens and won the “big prize” from the RU prize wheel (spoiler alert: it was a silver key chain and pen);
  • Was vaguely interested in the Tuesday Keynote speaker;
  • Eyerolled at Makerspaces (let’s talk about sustainability);
  • Got sick and subsequently slept through all of the cool librarian parties Tuesday night;
  • Watched the March of the Hungover Librarians at the Wednesday Breakfast;
  • Opted to check out of the Showboat during the Wednesday Keynote;
  • Accidentally ate lunch with the Wednesday Keynote speaker and Agnostic, Maybe;
  • Discussed the librarian-dreaminess of PC Sweeney;
  • Watched David Levithan try to navigate the snail shell-layout of the Revel and get increasingly more lost (Don’t worry, it happened to me too all conference).

NJLA13 was an eye-opening experience in a lot of ways. Not only did I learn the general ins and outs of attending a conference, but I also observed and learned all about the profession. Librarians are professionals, but we are also people too, who like a good slot machine and are scoping out the free cheese and beverages events.

There were some hits and misses in the sessions I attended. Being a student without a specific career trajectory, I ended up bouncing between sessions and sampling a lot. In terms of those sessions, the highlights were:

  • RDA is not the end of the world;
  • My heart will always be with book/literature discussion groups <3;
  • RU MLIS and Tumblarians were represented well in Reference 2.0;
  • Look at PA Forward is a great example of public-private partnerships;
  • Developed a huge librarian crush on ACRL president-elect Trevor Dawes during his session on Multicultural Leadership in Librarianship (please come back to New Jersey??);
  • I’m all about lending the unusual, (let’s put a barcode on a skateboard!) just remember that things like seed libraries need to circle back to libraries (Wisconsin knows what’s up).

I’m not sure that I would’ve ever gone to Atlantic City on my own accord, and I had expected a lot more from the conference but overall all it was a positive experience. I still another 25+ years worth of conferences/librarian parties to look forward to — Midwinter-Philadelphia in 2014 is coming.

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Author: ccharle2

A public learning and services librarian. When I am not reading, I can be found running or counting bats.

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