An Emerging Leader at Midwinter

January 12, 2011 at 5:35 pm Leave a comment

Finally starting to recover from my half-week in San Diego! I was a terrible librarian and didn’t do much research on what the projected temps were going to be–assuming that one mid-weight wool sweater in a city just north of the Mexican border, even in early January, would be sufficient–boy, was I wrong! I was FREEZING every night and very thankful for my wool peacoat!

I’d read online–and been told by my coworkers–that Midwinter isn’t nearly as much fun as Annual and it’s mostly business meetings, but I found it to actually be quite a lot of fun–perhaps because I connected with so many people, both in person and virtually.

Andromeda’s given a fantastic synopsis of the Emerging Leader workshop we all attended on Friday here, so I won’t rehash what she’s already said so eloquently (though you can see my notes here if you want to). I did attend the Emerging Leader Reception at ALA President-Elect Molly Raphael’s suite that night, though, and she recognized my name from having placed me on an ALA-level committee! I’m still at the stage where name-recognition with ALA rock stars still thrills me, so between the fact that she recognized my name and my imminent involvement with ALA on a much larger scale (I’ve previously only served on division/round table committees), I was thrilled.

On Saturday I managed to catch the last part of what looked like a panel of very interesting folks at NMRT’s Conference Orientation, including former ALA President Jim Rettig. They had an interesting handout that I haven’t seen posted online anywhere, so I’ve uploaded it for your convenience: NMRT Midwinter Orientation 2011 handout. The most useful bits of information on there, I thought, were:

  • “Meet people. Avoid listening to music, texting, etc., when you could be networking.” Yes! This goes along with what I said above about Midwinter not having to be a boring business meeting. One of the reasons I love this profession so much is because librarians are such friendly people–if you try to talk to someone, you are almost guaranteed to make a connection (much more so than random people on the street!)
  • “Reacquaint yourself and reflect on why you are, and what makes you glad to be, a librarian!” I’ve only been to 2 conferences so far, but each time the experience has been energizing and such an affirmation of why I went into this profession in the first place (encouragement that can be needed on occasion with a job search that’s been ongoing for a year!). Librarians are fantastic people. We are devoted to protecting the right to access information (whether that be WikiLeaks in the Library of Congress or homosexuality-friendly books in elementary school libraries), freedom of expression, and helping people navigate and evaluate the ever-deepening waters of available information. We love helping people! We might think patrons are a bitsilly sometimes, but we genuinely love working with people. We get excited about technology and how it can improve our relations with our users and make their library/information-seeking process better. It is an amazing profession.

I also attended the ACRL New Members Discussion Group panel on Personal Branding for New Librarians. Lots of great info–my notes here, and the follow-up discussion on ALA Connect (with bonus links!) here.

ACRL offers a great service called Research Writer’s Consultations where they pair new writers with experienced, successful ones for feedback on an article. I was all over this and submitted the paper a classmate and I had written during our independent study last summer. I was paired with the editor of ITAL, and was uber-pleased to hear that our article is basically publishable as-is with a few minor tweaks. I’ll keep you posted with the developments on that!

I also attended one of the Placement Center workshops: “Improving Your Odds: Resume- and Brochure-Writing Strategies,” by Pat Wagner. My notes are here.

I also had a chance to eat dinner with two of my favorite committee chairs who I’d only talked with online before flying out of San Diego. I really can’t say enough good things about the ACRL Membership Recruitment Committee–Amanda and Melanee are super on-top-of-things, and I’ve done more work for this committee than just about any other I’ve ever been on (minus the NMRT Nominating Committee, which I chair)–which is a good thing! The most exciting part about it is that the proposals we’re making will actually be implemented in the near future. In any case, it was great to meet them in person.

I also wrote about my experiences for NMRT’s Footnotes newsletter and chronicled my experiences on Twitter as they happened. Check it out: @mlhodge #alamw11

Entry filed under: conference, emerging leaders.

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