I am not going to show you my entire calendar. Then you would see how many time slots I have double or triple booked. Instead here are some of the sessions that have high priority for me and why.
So, as I was going through library school I was a recipient of both a Spectrum and ARL scholarship. These diversity scholarships were much more valuable than their monetary aid. They provided me with a wonderful network of people who have created an enormously supportive community. I always enjoy meeting up with the people from my cohorts and helping in anyway I can with the incoming students. I'll be helping at the ARL table during this professional options fair which is being held for the Spectrum scholars. I am also planning to attend the Diversity & Outreach Fair.
I love seeing how social medias are being used by libraries. It's great to see success and also relevant to form an opinion about what doesn't work. There are always a bunch of sessions on social medias, emerging technologies and mobile information. In particular I am looking forward to this one titled "Seriously Social: Leveraging Social Media" because one of the presenters is David Lee King, who has a great blog and twitter presence.
My library has been reviewing various discovery tools to decide which one we want to implement. After the conference we have a few meetings to take a closer look at ExLibris Primo, EBSCO EDS and ProQuest Summon. I'm hoping I can take some time during ALA to hear from other libraries about their experiences with the variety of discovery tools at this session, "Diving into the Deep End" being hosted by RUSA.
There is an art to scheduling your time so that you can maximize how many free meals you can get out of vendors. I have not mastered this art. However, I am taking advantage of the free breakfast Alexander Street Press is providing. I truly do love their video collections and the guest speaker for this event sounds very interesting!
Since I am a science librarian, a few science related sessions should be justified during my trip. Two programs that I have my eye on are occurring at the same time. ACRL - STS is hosting a discussion group titled "Measuring the Value of Our Science Libraries/Collections" and the National Center for Interactive Learning/Space Science Institute, Boulder, Colorado; and the Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston, Texas have a session titled "Science Programming 101: Presenting Excellent Science Programs in Your Library" which sounds enormously fun. This is a war between my practical and playful side. We shall see who wins out in the end.
The real reason everyone goes to a conference, to have a good time when all the work is done. There are always great late night happenings and I'm hoping I can stay awake to attend them. Since the location is New Orleans, I have high expectations. We'll see if this dance party lives up to them. In my experience, all the best networking happens outside the official conference.
Safe travels to everyone and see you there!