American Library Association Annual in Chicago

Sign at airport welcomes
librarians to Chicago
On Friday, June 28th I left New Orleans after  being home only 36 hours after ISTE to attend ALA (American Library Association) in Chicago. I have been to the last two Annual ALA conferences and really wanted to attend this year too. Attending conferences is an expensive proposition. I was very lucky to win a scholarship along with six other librarians from EBSCO to attend this conference. You can read my winning essay here. If you are a librarian and want to attend ALA Annual or Mid-winter, you should apply next year. EBSCO paid for my conference registration and $1000 towards my travel. Our pictures and names were listed in the lobby of the McCormick Place Convention Center along with all the other ALA award winners. Below is a picture of that poster.

Click on the picture to enlarge
It was a rush to see my name hanging on the wall 
The only requirement for this scholarship was to attend a breakfast on Sunday. I thought that was going to be easy, but it started at 8AM in the Hyatt next to the convention center. The shuttle bus actually got me there in time, but the hotel was so big and the conference rooms were difficult to find. Arriving five minutes after 8 was not the big deal that I thought it was since breakfast was buffet and everyone else was just sitting down to eat and the gathering only included the scholarship winners, along with four people from EBSCO and three people from ALA.

ALA Award CeremonyD
The scholarship winners names and pictures were projected for everyone to see as
our names were called to stand up and be recognized.

Former ALA president, Dr. Camila Alire, reads the names
of all the award winners.
We were asked but not required to attend the ALA President's Award Ceremony in the afternoon on Sunday. I wanted to hear the speaker so I went. The pictures above were from that event. I know that it looks like the event was well attended since it was projected on two screens at the front of the ballroom, but I don't think that the room was half full.

The speaker for the president's program was Dan Cohen from the Digital Public Library of America which launched in last month. This free resource is a collection of the archives from history museums and institutions around the United States. The idea is to give these collections that are local a much wider audience.  The digital library is even encouraging developers of apps to use their collection to create useful apps. The ones that seemed the most interesting to me are Culture Collage, DPLA Maps and Stack Life. I see this as a great resource for my students's social studies fair projects. I plan to make sure the social studies teachers at my school know about this great new tool.


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