Friday, September 28, 2012

2012 ALSC National Institute - Reflections

After attending PLA 10 years ago, I finally made it to another national conference - ALSC's 2012 National Institute. Even though I hope to retire in a couple of years, I'm still interested learning more about my profession and in finding ways to improve as a youth services librarian. So I took advantage of my part-time status to take a week off to visit family and attend the Institute.

Since I was attending on my own time and my own dime, I chose programs that I was interested in rather than those which would be helpful to my library (OK, I did attend one program simply to bring back information for my library.) For example, I know little about copyright so I attended "Quick and Easy Copyright." I love picture book art but know little about graphic novels so I attended "Viewing the Picturebook and the Graphic Novel as Sequential Art." There were other programs I would have loved to attend but there were conflicts. (It seems to be a law of conferences that all the programs you want to attend will meet at exactly the same time.)

The best part of the Institute for me was hearing the authors talk about their art - words and pictures. Every single one was fantastic. I do not collect autographs but I value authors as artists. It was such a pleasure to hear them speak. They were entertaining, inspiring and thoughtful.

I learned to deal with technology on the road. I even managed to get a couple of blog posts up using Blogsy. I missed my full-sized keyboard very much. I can type so much faster on it. The younger librarians were definitely way ahead of me - I was very impressed with the tweets and live blogging that went on during the programs.

It's always nice to meet librarians from around the country but I was particularly impressed with the enthusiasm and dedication of the younger librarians I met. It's nice to know that the future is in good hands.

In a couple of years I may be leaving my job but I won't be leaving the profession. I'm looking forward to seeing how youth services librarians meet the challenges of the future. I will probably be retired when the 2014 ALSC National Institute takes place but that doesn't rule out my attending.

Road Trip - PA Turnpike

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