Librarian Mecca (Midwinter)

I’m headed to Philadelphia this year thanks to some extra funds in the 2007 budget. Awesome. I am so excited!

There’s something about going to ALA as a librarian. It probably wears off after going for 20 years but I haven’t hit that point yet. Midwinter of course is not as big as Annual and is more concerned with committee business items but it will still be fun to be in Philadelphia.

Why do we go to conferences? Are there some things we can only accomplish by going to a physical site? It seems an interesting paradox that we are exploring the relevance of library as place so much these days but we still have a place for all of us librarians to meet physically.

Now conferences can be “attended” virtually in a variety of ways–and yet we still have on-site international meetings. I attended the ACRL Virtual Conference last year and it was really cool (and a whole lot cheaper) but I was not as excited to attend from my work desk as I am to fly across the country (although I was still really excited). Why is that?

There must be some reason we go. I know some of the other librarians at my institution go because they are heavily involved in various committee duties. Others go to network and promote themselves. I’m certain that many people go to meet old friends and have a laugh. Me? I’m going because I love meetings. That’s right; weird, I know. I love to go to a meeting and listen to a thoughtful presentation. I love to go to a meeting and brainstorm solutions. I love to go to a meeting and hear conflicting viewpoints.

I’m looking forward to all that and more this weekend.


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