Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hostess Frenzy

The Alabama Library Association is in town this week, and on Tuesday, 37 of my colleagues visited my corner of the library world. For the day. They ran the gamut from school to public to academics including --gasp!-- the closest thing I've had to a mentor, the director of my library school... that wasn't exactly what I envisioned when I was asked to host a preconference last spring. I tried to resist, I really did, but somehow was overridden by the wonderfully persuasive Steven Yates, now president-elect of the Alabama Library Association and a stellar high school librarian himself. I also got to serve as a liaison from the convention committee to media specialists everywhere. The work of the committee was absolutely Herculean, so I was gratified to see so many local library media specialists did turn out for the convention.

I hid all the books languishing, waiting for reviews, UNDER MY DESK. Removed anything anywhere in the building I spotted with a misspelling. Had my two best student aides create show-stopping displays. And I recruited Buffy Hamilton, one of the most dynamic and innovatve media specialists anywhere, to come do her thing. I drove 100 miles, in the dark, to pick her up, where she had heroically traveled immediately after two Computers in Libraries talks. Laura Pearle skyped in from New York, and despite technical difficulties with the webcam that left her speaking into a void, she spoke persuasively about the shortcomings of rote adherence to Dewey in meeting the needs of our students. I have trouble asking for milk for my tea, but I begged doorprizes from Linworth (thanks, Paula Jackson!). My favorite part of the day was the teen panel, which really engaged the audience and even sparked some questions from the twittersphere. Thanks, Buffy, for live-tweeting that.

It won't be over 'til I settle the bill with our culinary department, but hosting definitely pulled me out of my comfort zone. I'm not sure my presentation -- rework of Flip Your Collection from YALSA's preconference at ALA Midwinter -- was coherent in the least, given all the stress, but here's a peek:

Then, yesterday, I geeked out and presented on my absolute favorite tool, Twitter, to our state organization, alongside Marianne Lennox (@MLx) trainer extraordinaire from Huntsville-Madison County Public Library and Cheryl Burnette (@WeKnowBooksETC) of Homewood Public. It was a public library division session, so I am extra-grateful they let me share an overview of how Twitter works. Here are those slides:

Today, I get to go back to the Alabama Library Association, but just to spectate and enjoy the company of my fellow librarians. And I slept through the night for the first time in three days!

Now I just have this YALSA preconference for ALA Annual to cobble together....


  1. Wendy,

    Your chronicle of the "joys" of hosting this event made me laugh.

    But you obviously did a sensational job, and the resources you've shared here are wonderful.


  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.