I am a bit tardy is posting about my adventures at ALA. I made it to some great sessions, attended a lot of meetings, and gave a presentation or two. But it is the people and their stories that stick with me long after I have returned to my normal daily routine. Here are three people whose stories moved and motivated me.
John Tull, from Wallens Ridge State Prison in
Carmen Toni Bissessar is the Branch Manager of the Columbia Pike and Glencarlyn Branches of the Arlington County Public Library. She was awarded the 2007 Arnolfo D. Trejo Librarian of the Year Award, also known as the REFORMA LOTY Award. She was honored for her contributions to REFORMA, excellence in promoting and advocating services to the Spanish-speaking and Latino communities, and advocacy work on behalf of underrepresented diverse communities. When she accepted the LOTY award, Toni talked about one of her early teachers. The teacher sent her postcards from around the world that Toni would then take to her local library so she could learn about the city or country. The postcards and her library visits sparked a love of information and libraries. The story still chokes me up.
I really enjoyed meeting Sara (our Diversity Fair Scholarship Winner!) and presenting with her on the OCLC panel about serving Diverse Communities. Sara is doing an amazing job of connecting with the local Spanish-speaking community in the Olympia,
There were many, many more librarians and co-workers at ALA who inspired me! What about you? Share the stories that stuck with you on the WJ Discussion Boards.
Yes, it’s true; we’re passionate about rural libraries.
And I can’t think of anything more invigorating than a gathering of fellow rural library fans. After every conference, I spend weeks reminiscing about the sessions, the conversations, and the inspiration. But this year really tops them all. WebJunction had the great honor of hosting a gathering of over 180 library staff who work in or for rural libraries across the country. I told you back in May about the folks selected to attend the Rural Forum @ ALA and am now excited to share news of the fantastic presentations, resources and rich discussion coming out of the gathering (and check out the great stuff from last year’s gathering in New Orleans!). We’ll be talking about this year’s highlights during July’s Rural In Focus webinar including the Rural Café (imagine a café filled with 180 librarians brainstorming) and Jana Ponce’s dynamic and inspirational keynote presentation (everyone’s talking about it!).
Oh, and did I mention the pictures?? (Thank you Susan!)
I spent my time at ALA finally meeting REFORMAistas, the fabulous librarians in prison library land, and attending as many IRRT events as I could. Connections are being made between the Spanish Language Outreach program, which focuses on Spanish speakers in the US and folks in prisons and on the other side of the border. It was an exciting time – thanks to all who have given the love to WJ!
We have lots of pictures from the SLO follow up session, the REFORMA fundraiser, and the IRRT reception (the best parties at ALA!). We’ll be putting some of those on Flickr soon. Meanwhile, I wanted to share a few quotes and stories from some of the sessions I attended that sum up the ideas that were flying at ALA.
I was excited to learn of how many of you have used WebJunction resources, and not all of you from the U.S.! Now, you just need to share your stories with us – let us know what you’re doing in you corner of the world.
My coworkers here at WebJunction are a patient lot. They work hard every day knowing that at some point there is a very real possibility that I will march right up to them and start talking about, of all things, PEZ dispensers.
I know that sounds strange, but don’t be fooled! These PEZ discussion really are about work (most of the time anyway), work that is about to happily culminate in the dissemination of our very own WebJunction PEZ dispensers! That’s right; you may soon be one of the roughly 120 WebJunction members that will soon be the proud owners of some very spiffy, very limited edition (only 150 were made), highly collectible WebJunction PEZ dispenser. This could mean you! So how do you get one?
First, everyone should know that this special little PEZ was designed primarily as a giveaway for this year’s ALA Annual Conference. So, if you attend our big WebJunction event next Friday, June 22nd and are one of the first 100 WebJunction members to bop around the room partying, visiting, learning and answering a very short question sheet, you will get one of these super spiffy PEZ dispensers. So if you are especially keen on acquiring a WJ PEZ, arrive early and join the party! *Just a note, we do have lots of other activities, games and giveaways planned for this giganto event. It will be so much fun that, believe it or not, even without PEZ it would be a pretty fab party.*
Sadly, large numbers of limited edition custom PEZ dispensers are cost prohibitive so we only have so many to go around. We also know that a very large number of our members cannot make it to our party at ALA.
Sooooo…. If you are a registered WebJunction member currently working in, for or with libraries and you really, really want one, you have a chance. We have set 20 dispensers aside and will hold a drawing for them shortly after our return from the conference in DC. There are some requirements that you’ll see on the drawing sign-up page but as long as you meet them (and you really, really want a WebJunction PEZ dispenser) feel free to register. The link to sign up for the giveaway is here **UPDATE** We’ve given away all of our PEZ dispensers for this event and want to thank everyone for participating. We hope you are enjoying your WebJunction PEZ!
Here are the WebJunction Reception/Party details:
Venue: Renaissance, Washington, Grand Ballroom Central
Location:999 Ninth Street NW, Washington, District Of Columbia
Date: Friday, June 22
Time: 5:00 – 7:30 PM ET
Required Dress: Your sassiest librarian outfit. (Or business casual)
And just in case you wondered, my own personal obsession with PEZ is nicely documented by following this link. Additionally, Chrystie and Rachel can attest to the majesty of the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia, which printed these custom “fantasy” PEZ for us and which we also recently visited while in the Bay Area for a Community Unconference and a meeting at the RLG offices. A grand time was had by all!
We are very excited about our partnership with the REFORMA DC Metro Area Chapter to sponsor this year’s PIÑATA DE RECURSOS/RESOURCE PIÑATA Exhibit. The event highlights outstanding Spanish language library marketing and public relations materials and will be held at the REFORMA Fundraiser Reception in Washington, DC on Sunday, June 24, 2007. And did I mention the REFORMA Reception is at the Venezuelan Embassy!
At the PIÑATA DE RECURSOS/RESOURCE PIÑATA Exhibit, guests will view the materials and take ideas back to their libraries. We will also post all of the materials on WebJunction after the event (stay tuned!). Submissions can be from all types of libraries and we welcome all Spanish language library materials. Contact Elena Tscherny for more information about submission guidelines and deadlines.
We hope to see there!
The last of the Rural Library Sustainability Project workshops are finishing, and we’re pleased to announce that 34 participating states have selected 135 rural librarians to attend ALA Annual for the first time. They’ll begin their experience at a special Rural Forum preconference session (just for them and some of the project’s trainers) which will include a short orientation, but these novice conference goers could use some tips and suggestions from you experts out there! Check out their introductions and if you’ll be in D.C. next month, be sure to take the time to greet them and thank them for their great work…they’ll be wearing orange ribbons that say “I Sustain Rural Libraries.”