ALA Annual 2013: Helpful Info for new members & first timers (and everyone else)

This is my 14th ALA Conference in a row (counting Midwinter). Here are my tips for getting the most out of the Conference.

Need help during the conference? Call me. 509-592-5480. I’ll do whatever I can to help.

Advice on Scheduling:

  1. Attend NMRT Conference 101 or Conference Orientation. I attend both at every conference, and I learn something every time.
    New Members Round Table Sessions:

Fri, June 28 01:00 pm – 02:30 pm Conference 101 (NMRT)MCP-S104a
Fri, June 28 07:30 pm – 08:30 pm Mentoring Social (NMRT)PALM-Buckingham Room

Sat, June 29 08:30 am – 10:00 am Conference Orientation(NMRT) MCP-N228
Sat, June 29 10:30 am- 11:30 am Executive Board (NMRT) HRM-Regency Ballroom A

Sun, June 30 08:30 am- 10:00 am Building Your Professional Toolkit (NMRT) MCP-S103a
Sun, June 30 10:30 am – 11:30 am New Leaders DiscussionGroup (LLAMA/NMRT) MCP-N140
Sun, June 30 01:00 pm- 02:30 pm Association Options Fair (NMRT) MCP-Hall A, Meeting Room D
Sun, June 30 06:30 pm- 07:30 pm Student Reception (NMRT) PALM-Wilson Room
Sun, June 30 07:30 pm- 08:30 pm Awards Reception (NMRT) PALM-Chicago Room

  1. Feel free to leave a session if it’s not what you wanted. Feel free to walk into a session late. Feel free to ditch your schedule and go to whatever session you feel like.
  2. What happens in the hallways is just as important as what happens in the sessions. Follow the conference where it takes you.
  3. Almost every single meeting is open to everyone (those that aren’t are marked in the scheduler with ” [Closed]”). Shock your way to the top by showing up to a Committee or Board meeting.
  4. To find out about a lot of the options within ALA, attend the Association Options Fair, Sun, June 30 01:00 pm- 02:30 pm, MCP-Hall A, Meeting Room D
  5. Attend an ALA Membership meeting. These are notoriously under-attended,and therefore a great chance for you to interact directly with members of Council to let them know about issues of concern to you:
    Saturday, June 29, 3:00pm – 4:30pm, ALA Council/Executive Board/Membership Information Session, MCP-S100c
  6. Attend an ALA Council meeting. You will learn SO MUCH about the Association and what kinds of things ALA is working on, plus you’ll meet Council members, who are often cool and/or good network connections:
    Sunday, June 30 – 8:30am-11:00am, ALA Council I,MCP-S100c
    Monday, July 1 – 8:30am-11:30am, ALA Council II, MCP-S100c
    Tuesday, July 2 – 7:30am – 9:15am, ALA Council III,MCP-S100c
  7. Do some fun things – like the NMRT Receptions on Sunday night, or one of the #partyhard events. There’s a list of Socials here:
  8. Give yourself breaks. Sleep. Rest. Eat.You’ll be better able to appreciate the conference if you take care of yourself.

Do I have more great advice? You bet! I’ll be the one at the Orientations getting tackled by the bouncers when I try to interrupt with my two cents. Here’s my schedule:

For a different perspective check out PC Sweeney’s “The big list of things everyone should do at #ala2013,”

And now some other helpful resources, with thanks to the ALA Ambassadors program and Paul Signorelli.

Physical Locations

  • ALA Office:  Exhibit Hall South Level 3
  • Coat Check:  South Level 1 -Transportation Lobby
  • First Aid:  GrandConcourse Level 2.5 (next to FedEx Business Center)
  • First-Time Attendee Concierge Area: McCormick Place North B1 Lobby
  • Membership Pavilion: Exhibits Hall, Booth #1231
  • Registration Desk Ambassador Info Kiosk: Near Registration Desk, outside Exhibits Hall
  • Shuttle Buses: South Level 1 – Transportation Lobby

Online Resources

I can’t wait to meet y’all. Come say hi to me at one of the NMRT events, or contact me by phone or gmail (lindackcrook). I’ll also be helping out in the First-Time Attendee Concierge Area Fri, June 28 03:00 -05:00 pm and Sat, June 29 01:00 pm- 02:00 pm.

This conference marks the end of my term as NMRT Past President, and the end of my time as a regular NMRT member. After this conference ends I turn into an NMRT alumni member. Thanks for everything, NMRT.

-Linda Crook, NMRT Past-President, 2012/2013

** SEE ME for “NMRT,” “NMRT Board,” “NMRT Alum,” and “JMRT Alum” badge flags!


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