June is finally in full swing, and with Pride out of the way (in Boston, at least) it’s time for me to gear up for my other big event this month: Anaheim! The cat-sitter has been arranged, my discount park-hoppers are (hopefully) in the mail, and I’m now painfully aware of Travelocity’s double-billing policy for debit cards.
But with all my preparations, I don’t really have much of an idea of what to expect from the actual conference.
It occurred to me this spring that maybe I should take advantage of my student status while it lasts and start doing some professional development, so I attended not one but two library conferences in April. At the first, NESLA (nee NEEMA), I was treated to fantastic speaking by Henry Jenkins and Christopher Harris. Plus I met some wonderful folks from Rhode Island who helped me get out to Warwick for the RIEMA conference (thanks, Zach!). There I was a little overwhelmed by the number of vendors, less than thrilled by my workshops, and sorely turned off by the luncheon speech by Richard Peck.
Given these two pretty different experiences–one small but not very interactive, with repeated use of the word “dongle;” one big and rather commercial, with sub-par chocolate mousse–what do I hope for my third (and biggest) conference?
I expect to be more than a little overwhelmed. While I can handle certain kinds of crowds (see: Disneyland) just fine, my RIEMA experience taught me that I can get overstimulated pretty quickly. I’ll be bringing several books with me so that I have a safe retreat if I need it.
I also expect to find more students at this conference. I was easily the youngest person in the crowd for NESLA, and while there were a few URI students attending RIEMA, the affair was clearly catered to folks already working in schools. I’m hoping that at least in my informal networking, if not in actual workshops, I’ll be able to talk a little with other students who are feeling the same pressures I am: an uncertain job market, the scare tactics of library school professors, and the daunting task of applying all our starry-eyed ideals to actual library settings.
What are You expecting from Anaheim?