ALA Annual Conference/ Part I
Home Repair and Cleaning week is on hold, as I headed out for ALA. As you probably know already, it is being held in New Orleans. The ALA is first major conference being held here after Katrina. It often attracts around 20,000 librarians from around the world. Being in New Orleans, you can see the devastation and real poverty in many places. Of course, economic problems were not new hee, but some areas look like a developing nation. I am happy that ALA decided to stick with ALA. I enjoyed a few minutes of walking around the French Quarter, which is a treat. I am always amazed to think that the federal government wanted to destroy it in the 70s by putting an interstate in the middle of this architectual preserve.
I am staying at the ALA set of dorms at Loyola University. The price was right in order to have a room of my own.
It is a nice Jesuit university campus, like a nice private college in Europe or Japan. I enjoyed stopping in the library. The campus is both attractive and quiet, which is unlike most of the hotels. It is a bit of a schlep to get there and back, but I saved about $100 each night. I had hoped to enjoy the lovely St. Charles trolley back and forth, but the tracks have not been repaired since the flood. I can still take the ALA shuttle (free) or the ST CHARLES city bus. The city seems to be rebuilding its public transit system. It is free for riders until the 30th of this month as a way to attract riders again.
I wanted to attend a COA meeting on Friday, but could not make it since my flight was delayed, and the airport shuttle took forever. I did make it to a meeting that trains incoming round table chairs, since I'll be chairing the Library History Round Table after the conference. In the evening I met one of my former professors from Indiana University for a nice seafood dinner. My final activity was celebrating at the reception honoring Loriene Roy's ALA Presidential victory.
Professor Roy is a real inspiration to me on so many levels. I am so thrilled that she was elected. Her 'formal' reception was very casual and comfortable, yet also elegant. It was the most diverse gathering I've attended outside of Hawaii, which was great. You could sense the enthusiasm and ideas flowing, since Loriene attracts people who network and actually create change -- rather than griping.
Library history students might be interested in a project that she wants during her presidency. She wants to add a sort of "this day in library history" to the ALA website. She will create a form that people can submit events and explanations. The theme is to celebrate different aspects of librarianship. I will post more details as I hear them.