Another busy day in Chicago. I headed down to the convention center (McCormick Place) this morning to meet with the Cognotes staff and learn a little more about what I’m doing. So, basically, I have to write up something for at least one of the sessions that I attend each day, send it in, and if space permits, it gets put into the daily newspaper of the conference. And believe me, if it does, I’ll let you know! We also got special Press ribbons which, while pretty powerless, still made us feel a little special. After the meeting, the other student reporter and I grabbed some lunch and headed to our first assignments.
My first session was actually a preconference led by (UNCG alum!) Lauren Pressley and Kaeley McMahan, both of whom teach at Wake Forest University. Their session was “Instructional Design for Librarians: The What, Why and How of ID.” As an aspiring instruction librarian, I was especially interested in attending this one. Lauren and Kaeley did a great job of not only breaking ID down into a manageable process, but giving practical examples. They generated some good discussion among the group, and I learned a lot just from listening to the people around me. I may not be dealing with these issues now, but it showed me that no matter where you’re teaching, you’re facing a lot of the same issues that other librarians are. That’s why it’s so important for us to communicate with each other! There will never be a perfect solution, but we can help each other by sharing ideas and innovations that can improve what we do.
So, after being inspired at the preconference, I headed off to a “soiree” sponsored by the ACRL Instruction Session at the Elephant and Castle Pub. It was a bit overwhelming at first, as there were probably 100 of us (or more) crowding into a small room in the bottom of the pub, but eventually I got my free food (very important at these things) and found a group to join and talk to. If there is one thing that I have discovered, it is that librarians are incredibly friendly. Some of us may be socially awkward, but for the most part, everyone that I have met has been wonderful. And very encouraging about the job prospects. One of the people that I met is not so far out of library school herself, and has encouraged me to get involved with an ACRL IS committee, which is a great way to get your foot into ALA in a small way. I’m going to that meeting tomorrow, so more on that later. A group of us then decided to go to the New Members Round Table (NMRT) Meet and Greet. Although not quite as exciting as the ACRL outing, it was still enjoyable, but by this time, my feet hurt and I was really tired, as was my roommate. Proof that librarians are awesome – one of the librarians that actually lives in Chicago was getting her husband to pick her up, and they gave my roommate and I a ride home! Now, off to finish my Cognotes story and to bed! Tomorrow is another big day!