ALA Annual Visit: Mag Mile

There was a time when shopping wasn’t important to me. Arguably, these were simpler times. Certainly, these were more financially sound times. Then I found the most glorious pair of runners and the most wonderful, knitted necktie and something of a monster was created.

Yes, it all occurred in Chicago, walking down the magnificent mile. This blogger is quite certain that you can find your favorite stores with ease (see: your smartphone) so I’m going to take a moment to focus on some locations that might be a bit lesser known to you. If you haven’t heard of the following, you should give them a shot to be sure!

First, obviously I should tell you where I found that necktie and those shoes. After all, the last time Annual was in Chicago it was Khaled Hosseini who was heard (admittedly, only to me) exclaiming, “hey, nice tie!” upon my approach in his autograph line. Topshop is just the place to get quirky clothing at reasonable prices.

Located immediately across from Water Tower Place in the 800 block of Michigan Avenue, Topshop provides a floor for women and a floor for men (appropriately called Topman as if it were a different store altogether. It isn’t.). There’s almost always a sale and students get an extra 10-20% off depending on the day! With the flagship store in London, you’re sure to find trendy items that you must have because, let’s face it, the British are VERY posh. Speaking of Water Tower Place, if you haven’t been, you should cross the street and take in the stores there too, most notably The Art of Dr. Seuss. It’s amazing!

Incidentally, if you start at these locations (take a bus, even), then you can hit everything else on your way back to McCormick Place. The Disney Store is tons of fun, of course, and, I feel you must stop in the Burberry store if only to say you’ve been. It’s incredible! OK so apparently I have a soft spot for British attire.

I would also like to mention the Nordstrom’s mall in the 500 block of Michigan. Not for Nordstrom’s, per se. Though it is a fine store, to be sure. But how often do you get to visit a Swatch store?! It’s a small location but Swatches are amazing and my collection seems to grow every time I make a visit, “just to look and see what’s new” (pictured is my fancy new Mika Swatch, for example). This mall also has a Kiehl’s store eager to provide all sorts of dermatological samples. They hooked me; their face wash is fantastic.

Mika watch

Yes, I blame the Windy City for many of my addictions. It’s where I met Chuck Palahniuk and fell in love with reading. And it’s obviously the place to shop. Just, one of these addictions may be more career-oriented than the other. I don’t know, #librarianwardrobe, anyone?

 

Joel Shoemaker was on the 2017 Stonewall Book Awards Committee for Youth and serves on the 2018 Stonewall Book Awards Committee for Adults. He is the Library Director for Oakwood Public Library District (Ill.) and has been a magician for more than twenty-five years.

ALA Annual Visit: Chinatown Chicago

Tomorrow is the beginning of the Chinese Lunar New Year! It’s the Year of the Rooster and, to celebrate, as well as to get us thinking about Annual in Chicago, I thought it would be fun to make conference attendees aware of Chicago Chinatown. As I accidentally discovered this neighborhood myself last time Annual was held in Chicago, I know from experience it’s an easy walk from where the conference is held. And, look, I even went ahead and Googled it for you! It’s just over a mile away (okay, okay, 1.2-1.5 depending on who you ask). 

Speak no evil, see no evil, hear no evil monkey statues

Besides the obvious – there is a TON of good food in Chinatown, there are also a surprising amount of cool shops to find any number of trinkets you are looking for. For example, I still have (and proudly display) the see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil monkey sculpture I bought last time I was there.

You should definitely stop by the Chiu Quon Bakery for a Bao filled with custard. Or any of the other baked buns they have available. They all looked fantastic. Incidentally it appears I’m not alone in this opinion, as Chiu Quon is listed among the best restaurants in Chinatown according to Thrillist. Check out their article here: https://www.thrillist.com/eat/chicago/chinatown/best-restaurants-chinese-food-chicago-chinatown.

I like Chinatown as a recommended visit for Annual because it’s a nice, easy walk and can be as short or long a visit as you like. I went through as much of it as I wanted to in about two hours, including the walk. Of course, there’s also efficient and affordable public transportation should the weather not be kind, or should you already be exhausted from other conference efforts. You can certainly get some good food and cool, unique souvenirs to take back home. 

So, when you need a break from convention craziness, head to Chinatown!

Be sure to check out chicagochinatown.org for all of the latest information and events that might be planned while you’re in town!

2017 year of the rooster

Joel Shoemaker was on the 2017 Stonewall Book Awards Committee for Youth and serves on the 2018 Stonewall Book Awards Committee for Adults. He is the Library Director for Oakwood Public Library District (Ill.) and has been a magician for more than twenty-five years.

Annual 2015: What To Do There — And When You Come Home

This is a guest post from Susy Moorhead, a member of the Local Arrangements Committee for Annual 2015 in San Francisco.

You’ve decided to attend the annual conference this year! If you haven’t been before, and even if you have, you must be excited. Attending conference is a lot of fun but it is tiring and it can be overwhelming as well. Here are some tips to help you share what you learned once you get back to your home library. Continue reading

Getting Your Grub On, Vegas Style

by Jennifer Jost

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, the holiday when the more gluttonous among us celebrate what we are thankful for by stuffing ourselves with lots of good food. In Las Vegas you can celebrate Thanksgiving in this way any day of the year simply by visiting one of our famous buffets.

While Vegas buffets may have begun as a way to keep gamblers at the tables for as long as possible, providing a way to eat quickly for little money, many casino buffets today are a destination in themselves, with gourmet food and a price tag to match.

The newest and grandest addition to the  buffet scene is the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars Palace, which recently celebrated its first anniversary in true Vegas style, with a video choreographed by Emmy Nominated dancer/choreographer Travis Wall (of Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance) :


Continue reading

How to Fund a Conference Trip on Pocket Lint and Dreams

by Natalia Tabisaura

You’re sold on the idea of going to the next ALA Conference, but where oh where will the funds come from?’  It’s easy to say you want to go, but with a place to stay, food, and transportation to consider the price tag becomes daunting and the question arises: Should I go?

Heck yes, you should! The education you get at a conference trumps any webinar or experience in class. Don’t give up hope!’  You can find conference funding in a myriad of unexpected (and expected) places. Here are a few strategies for getting the financial support to get that well-educated tush of yours to the next annual conference.

1. Student discounts! If you are a current student, ALA offers a $100 off registration to encourage library school students to attend.

2. Research grants and scholarships can make a dent in the conference costs. Be sure to pay attention to the deadlines. Also, check the web pages of the associations and subgroups you are a member of for additional opportunities. Here is a list of grants and awards (source: LISjobs.com)

  • 3M/NMRT Professional Development Grant – Helps finance attendance at ALA Annual. It covers round trip airfare, lodging, conference registration fees and some incidental expenses. Must be a personal ALA/NMRT member working within the territorial U.S. Continue reading

30 Days of Innovation #23: You, Innovator, at ALA’s 2013 Annual Conference

Each year, YALSA sponsors preconference workshops and programs for the ALA Annual Conference. Through May 31, we’re seeking your proposals for a conference presentation at next year’s event in Chicago, June 27 to July 2. As you can see from our request for proposal, next year we are emphasizing creative conference proposals, highlighting best practices and innovations in five priority areas:

  • Young Adult Literature/Readers’ Advisory
  • Advocacy & Activism
  • Programming & Outreach
  • Research & Best Practices
  • Teen Spaces (physical & virtual)
  • Youth Participation

What innovations have you brought in these five areas? What inspiration have you found in our 30 Days series that could apply to them? YALSA is as creative and innovative as its members, which is to say very creative and highly innovative. So fill out our Annual 2013 request for proposal and tell your peers about everything you’ve accomplished at your library!

 

Call for Papers: Library Research Round Table

Here’s another thing to get you geared up for ALA’s Annual Conference in Anaheim this June. The Library Research Round Table is looking for presentation proposals related to three areas of library research. Abstracts must be submitted by December 20, 2011, and notification of acceptance will be sent in late February, 2012. Accepted proposals will be presented at the ALA Annual from June 21-26. If you have recent or in-progress research relating to users, problem solving, or innovation, consider submitting.

LRRT defines their three categories as this: Continue reading