Later today I’ll be jetting my way to Chicago for what I expect will be a whirlwind week at Annual Conference. There’s a lot that I’m looking forward to. I thought about writing about all of it here, but then thought, readers can find out about all of the great programs on the YALSA wiki. There are, however, a couple of things I want to highlight about Annual Conference 2009, particularly to those that are new to Conference and perhaps to YALSA.

First, if you are new, YALSA Is made up of a great welcoming bunch of people. If you see someone wearing a YALSA pin or an orange ribbon on their name badge go right up and introduce yourself. I promise, you’ll get a friendly response. I know it can be a bit scary to walk into a meeting, program, or event and not know a soul. But, that’s one of the reasons we have those pins and badges so you can know, here’s a person I can talk to.

The Friday night Happy Hour and What TO Wear Fashion Show is a great way to meet people and connect with those you might not have seen for a long time. it’s going to be noisy no doubt, but ever since YALSA started the Friday Night Happy Hour tradition it seems that it’s the first stop to make when starting out at conference.

On Saturday morning, YALSA All Committee is a very good way to learn about the work of the Division and get a feel for what you might want to get involved in. This too can be intimidating, if you’ve never been before you’ll discover All Committee is held in a big room with many people milling around and sitting at tables. YALSA members will be stationed at the doors of All Committee to meet and greet so don’t hesitate to introduce yourself to one of us. When at All Committee, if you aren’t on a Committee, you should definitely feel free to sit at a few different tables in order to find out what Committees are working on and how you might get involved.

Saturday afternoon is the first of YALSA’s Board meetings. These meetings are open to anyone who wants to attend and learn about the work of the Division. It’s a very good way to get a sense of how things work in YALSA and learn about upcoming projects and priorities. YALSA members can access the Board agenda and materials in the For Members Only section of the YALSA web site.

On Monday afternoon YALSA sponsors the President’s Program and Membership Meeting. Not to sound like a broken record, but…. this is again a good opportunity to meet others and find out about what YALSA is up to. The bonus is that you’ll also get to learn about how librarians can support teen creativity through programs and services as that’s the topic of discussion following the Membership Meeting.

If you take a look at YALSA’s wiki page for Conference you’ll see that there is quite a lot going on that I haven’t mentioned. Programs, events, and more.

As always, when Conference rolls around I find that I’m looking forward to seeing people that I’ve been tweeting and emailing with over the past several months and having the chance to talk to them in person. I’m looking forward to working with my fellow Board members on helping to shape the programs and services of YALSA for the next several years. And, I’m also looking forward to getting a chance to find out what new members are up to and interested in. If you see me at Conference, definitely feel free to come up and introduce yourself. I’m the one dressed in black.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

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