It has been a few years since I graduated. Life and the general economic situation has lead me to unexpected paths away from brick and mortar libraries. I stay connected by dipping into the cyber equivalents.
I thought going to see the exhibits at the conference was a good way for me to re-connect. I have to say that I felt like an interloper. Maybe I was, I'm not a librarian.
Which is the number one question I got when I stepped up to a table. "What library are your from?" "Who do you represent?" "Are You A Librarian?"
It would have been misleading to add the school library to my badge. I'm
not a student any more. I don't work at a library. I can say that I
have been applying what I have gained in the program to communicate and
share information with various on-line communities that won't step foot
in a physical library.
They should. They won't. I meet folks where they are.
But what about the other stakeholders in literacy, technology and freedom of information advocates? Should we not have come?
As I walked through the convention center (and it was huge) I had people flash a look at my badge. If it didn't display what they wanted to see they looked away, hoping I wouldn't walk over.
Why Would a Non-library Person come to ALA?
Beyond my personal reasons, I could see what has changed and not changed since the last time I visited. Paper books are still important. There are vendors selling and librarians wanting audio CDs for their patrons. E-book vendors getting a bit more space on the floor.
A lot of things to think about and to share.