Monday, October 10, 2005

ALA Mid-Winter

Since ALA Mid-Winter is being held in San Antonio, I'm considering attending. I'm not an ALA guy, more SLA, so this would be my 1st ALA meeting. Would it be worth it? Any suggestions? Thanks.


waltc said...

Personally, I prefer Midwinter to Annual, but you need to be aware of what it is: It's a meeting, not a conference. That is, while there are loads of discussion groups, you won't find many formal programs (legally, you won't find any except for one or two ALA exceptions--this is supposed to be a business meeting).

Exhibits are smaller, with (typically) fewer publishers and a lot fewer book signings, free posters, and people there primarily to collect freebies.

As a chance to see what's happening with technology vendors (and quite a few others), to try out new ALA units, and--if you can find out the topics--to sit in on some topical discussions, it's great, and I find it better for catching up with colleagues. As a pure listen-and-learn experience, well, it's not Annual Conference: Figure maybe a dozen real programs (if that), rather than a few hundred.

Tina Shrader said...

I find ALA (both Midwinter and Annual) to be both useful and enjoyable. Since I left academic libraries and moved into a position where there are no tenure/professional development activities, I've considered cutting back my ALA attendance, but I can't quite bring myself to do that. It's a good way to maintain professional contacts and keep current.

As Walt says, Midwinter is primarily a business meeting for ALA committees, but there are loads of discussion groups that usually have interesting topics-- several of which are cataloging-related. If San Antonio is reasonably local to you, I'd say go for it.