[Series] Hack ALA: Attending ALA Annual Without Attending ALA Annual

10/06/2011 § 9 Comments

UPDATE: John Chrastka, Director of Membership Development at ALA, commented and alerted us to The Conference Tracker from American Libraries Magazine. This is another great way to track the conference, and pulls in a lot of the avenues Nicole mentioned in her post. Thanks John and AmLib Magazine!

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Like some of us here at Hack Lib School, you may not be able to attend the ALA Conference this summer.  Or maybe, there are other conferences you are not able to actually attend.  Below are some ideas on how you can participate and follow a conference without actually being there in person.  Most are directed at this year’s Annual conference but you could definitely apply them to others.  Please feel free to post other suggestions in the comments!

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[Series] Hack ALA: Get Your Network On!

09/06/2011 § 14 Comments

ALA is the largest library conference in the nation. It brings together different librarians from across the country, all in one place. It gives everyone the opportunity to meet new people and network. This is pretty fantastic if you think about it, but for a newbie student or librarian who has never been before, this can be an overwhelming experience. It brings to mind a number of questions about what to do and how to use this experience to network. Luckily, we have paired up a conference n00b, Annie, with conference veteran Lauren, with a question and answer session for some guidance on how to network. « Read the rest of this entry »

Don’t Forget Where You’re Going: NOLA Beyond the Convention Center Walls

07/06/2011 § 7 Comments

This post needs no introduction. Written by April Martin – you’ve also seen her here talking information literacy. Find her at ALA and get a high-five (tell her Heidi sent you!)

New Orleans - French Quarter: Exchange Place

Flickr User wallyg - Used under CC by-nc-nd license

So, you’re going to ALA in New Orleans.  Although I am sure that all of you will be very busy networking, attending meetings and seminars, and combing the exhibits for free and/or cheap advanced readers’ copies from your favorite authors and publishers, you may want to take a break from conferencing and experience one of the greatest cities you’ll ever be lucky enough to visit.  Ok, maybe I am a little biased; I did live in there for 12 years before moving to Seattle to pursue my MLIS and I do love, love, love New Orleans.

Of course I am aware that we lib-students (and n00brarians) are not necessarily a rich bunch but we are rich in luck because there are many, many inexpensive and great places to go and things to do in the Big Easy.  Of course, you probably don’t want to read for days so I will try to keep it brief. « Read the rest of this entry »

[Series] Hack ALA: Our ALA ’11 Recommended Sessions

06/06/2011 § 20 Comments

Editors Note: Welcome to Hack ALA Week! We’ve been planning this for quite some time now, and although we’re titling this a “Week” you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll continue writing about ALA generally beyond this week. As the preeminent professional organization in our profession, whose mandates and bylaws permeate our classrooms as well as our future workplaces, the American Library Association deserves a critical eye as much as any other part of professional librarianship. Our goal herein is to examine this organization from the students’ perspective, weighing pros and cons and assessing the value of membership for the library school student. There are myriad opinions on ALA and we encourage readers to explore them all, and hope that our subsequent posts on the topic offer an insight to how the organization works, and particularly this week, on how to survive ALAs Annual Conference. Enjoy and as always, we welcome you to think critically about, challenge and respond to our writings.
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ALA Annual is lauded as “The Worlds Largest and Most Dynamic Library Conference and Exhibition,” and arguably it can be seen as a rite of passage for new LIS professionals. There is no easy way to say this – the conference is a gigundo-crazy-overwhelming-ridicoulo-book/people/knowledge fest. I’m pretty sure even the seasoned ALAer veteran is still like a kid in a candy shop when the conference kicks off. That said, I, your friendly neighborhood HackLibSchool blogger, took to the web and through some major investigative efforts (made supremely easy by ALA Connect’s Conference Scheduler) have compiled a list of the sessions and yes, even some informal meetups that LIS students might find interesting. Below is a short list; I deliberately avoided any career/interest sessions as I’d encourage you to investigate those options on your own. Check out the New ALA Members tag for a good overview of some other sessions to consider.

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The Road to ALA ’11: LIS Student Tips and Tricks

09/02/2011 § 26 Comments

{This post is largely derived from these posts on my blog — for more detail on my ALA ’10 experiences, check them out!}

Last year, I attended my first ALA conference as a library school student, and it was an eye-opening experience. Of all the local and national librarian conferences I’ve been to, it is by far the biggest and most overwhelming. Here are some of my tips for staying on a library school student budget, networking, and more:

  • Seek funding to offset your expenses. ALA’s Student to Staff program has already picked its members, but ask around at your library school for other opportunities. Are there any scholarships or grants for travel at your school? Do you know anyone you can split a hotel room with (if not, ask librarians on Twitter)?

Click through for more!!

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