Nothing can prepare you for the reality of just how big ALA's conference is. At least, for me, as a first time attendee. Even though I had an idea that it would be a huge event, just seeing the exhibits area alone was amazing. I didn't even cover 1/10 of the exhibits area today. I had been advised to bring a huge bag to conference for all you can get but I soon realized that was not sufficient. I ended up filling up about 3 bags and I had to finally say, no more! Well, that's what my shoulders said. At least, till tomorrow. One really needs a huge shopping cart for the exhibits area, in my opinion. I attended the small but incredible Diversity and Outreach Fair which was being held this afternoon located in the back of the main exhibits in the afternoon as well.
In addition, I attended two workshops. In the morning, I headed to, "We The People Picturing America: Presenting Programs in Your School or Public Library," which is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. This workshop I felt was quite worthwhile. For a glimpse into this program, check out Picturing America. There was even a local school librarian from Pasadena presenting at this workshop, showing how this program had been successful at her school. The second workshop that I attended in the afternoon called "New Minds, New Approaches" wasn't what I expected so I have to admit I ended up leaving after the second presenter. Ironically, quite a few people left before I did. Luckily, I had been advised in a welcoming e-mail from an assigned conference ambassador that this was okay to do and even recommended if one found the workshop wasn't meeting your expectations.
Some other highlights for today were lunching with Mary Ann Laun, her father-in-law, Daniel Haley, Eric Hansen, Jared Burton, and Diana Lopez while discussing this morning's events we had attended. I briefly saw Krista Goguen before heading to my second workshop. Classmates, Toni Rodriguez and Susan Tockgo, were also sighted today.
I'm looking forward to tonight's event, Stories for a Saturday Evening. Mary Ann mentioned that's really a wonderful event and it's not just children's stories which happens to be a yearly event.
If you're still debating whether to come down to conference, you still can register to attend workshops and/or exhibits in person. If you need more information, you can go to ALA.