January 31, 2017

Midwinter reflections

My first ALA Midwinter! When I worked as a reference librarian, I went to PLA once, ALA Annual a couple of times, and regularly to the North Carolina Library Association Bi-Annual Conference. The chance to go to Midwinter was new to both my colleague, Kathy Stewart and me. The NoveList team made a presence, and quickly spread out: Duncan Smith, Danielle Borasky, Kathy Stewart and I talked with many of you at our new NoveList station within the EBSCO booth. Victoria Caplinger, Lauren Kage and Renee Young attended their respective committee meetings (Victoria was closing out her last year as the chair of the Notable Books committee, Lauren serves on the RUSA-Codes Reading List and Renee was there to meet with the ALCTS/LITA Metadata Standards committee).

Here are some of the signs and sounds we encountered in an Atlanta full of librarians!

First off, the weather was dreary. We had rooms way up in the Westin and when we woke up on Saturday morning, our view of the city had changed to a view of…nothing. Grey clouds surrounded the window. Of course, that picture would be boring, but we did get a picture of the hotel from our walk to the conference center. Our rooms are somewhere in the white.

Seeing some of the sights of Atlanta made up for the weather. While we didn’t have time to see much, we got to swing through the Omni building where CNN has its headquarters. The CNN signs and flags were cool, but what mostly caught our attention was the fact that we felt like we were in a space station from a Lois McMaster Bujold novel.

Conferences -- and the bustle of energy and excitement as librarians trade ideas -- are always fun. Kathy saw of a couple of excellent T-shirts (library conferences have the best T-shirts!)

The Libraries Transform banners were all over the conference center. We took photos of several of them, but our favorite was the one leading down to the Exhibit Hall.

NoveList sponsors the RUSA Book and Media Awards that are announced at Midwinter. Someone had the excellent idea to make books out of Hersey’s chocolate minis. Everyone at the NoveList table had their favorites and we all got a longer To-Be-Read list. Just what the librarian ordered!

I’m most excited to read The Firebrand and the First Lady (Pauli Murray is from Durham, where NoveList is based), while I think Kathy is most excited about Swing Time by Zadie Smith

Neither Kathy nor I were able to attend the Youth Media Awards, but Kathy caught this great photo in the Exhibit Hall afterwards. Those people all look so happy!

Of course, everyone at NoveList gets excited about book awards. The librarians holding down the fort at the office came in early Monday morning to watch the Youth Media Awards. Rebecca even made coffee cake.

Last, but certainly not least, we stayed for Neil Patrick Harris, who was awesome. Which you expect from Neil Patrick Harris. He wouldn’t be anything less. Sadly, we were way up in the balcony, so the pictures don't convey the feel. You’ll have to take our word for it that his magic trick was almost as good as the president of the American Association of Law Libraries schooling him in the importance of critical research.

We’ll be at ALA Annual in Chicago, too. If you’re there, too, stop by the EBSCO booth and say, “hi!” We’re always happy to talk books with you!

Jennifer Lohmann is a NoveList Consultant.

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