It’s official. I’m heading back to Chicago at the end of June for another five days of fun and excitement at the American Library Association conference. More than 25,000 librarians will descend on the city like a plague of . . . book reading locusts? Not sure on that one. It’s going to be massively huge, and I’m very much looking forward to it.
Of course, I’ll be there as a librarian, not an author. The last time I went to ALA, it was as an aspiring librarian. I was just finished with my Masters of Library Science, and I headed to the big conference in an attempt to find jobs. (Despite all the big talk about how many librarian jobs there are out there, I found the reality to be far from the case.) I did score quite a few interviews, and the trip netted me 2 solid offers and a few more pretty good prospects, but it was a very stressful experience. (When you don’t have a job, and can’t find a job you want . . . I’d rather not live through that again, thanks very much.)
This time, I hope for it to be less stressful. I’m planning on going to a slew of panels (something I missed out on last time) and find out all the latest and greatest trends in library world–particularly the technology side of things. And if a few Advanced Reading Copies of books manage to stumble their way into my swag bag, that’s a price I’m willing to pay.
ALA isn’t just for librarians, of course. Any time you have that many people interested in books in one place (and that much potential buying power), you get a whole flock of camp followers. There’ll be authors, agents, book bloggers–you name it.
I’m not typically a fan of big huge crowds, but I really wanted to give ALA another shot, mainly because the last time I did it, I couldn’t enjoy it. I hope to change that this time.
Anyway–if you’re going to be in the area from June 27th to July 2, drop me a line. I’d love to say hi and catch up on old times.