Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Midwinter redux

I know most folks post their schedule beforehand, but I didn't really know where I was going to be until I was there.

  • Went to the NMRT meet and greet.

  • Dinner with folks I met at the meet and greet.

  • Wandered the exhibits for 10 minutes. Met Nancy Pearl.

  • Got a squished penny at the Alamo.

  • Volunteered at the NMRT resume review service, then had someone look at my resume.

  • Wandered aimlessly. Ran into: someone I went to college with, someone I used to work with, someone I was trying to schedule a meeting with, someone who works somewhere I used to work that I saw at a party in December, someone I had interviewed with a couple of months ago. All sorts of good things came out of these chance meetings.

  • Forgot to eat lunch.

  • Went to the NMRT all committee meeting. Volunteered for a committee.

  • Met with someone for an interview. Saw someone I knew in the middle of the interview.

  • Went to the NMRT social, stayed for dinner.

  • Interview at the placement center.

  • Observed Council session I.

  • Went to the Best Books for Young Adults session. Bumped into someone I hadn't seen yet. Left halfway through.

  • Went to the President's program with Andrei Codrescu. Spotted someone I'd met on an interview panel.

  • Left early to chat with someone about a job.

  • Back for the last few minutes with Andrei.

  • Blogger salon.

  • Dinner with folks from the blogger salon.

  • Met someone for breakfast. Turns out we were on the same flight, so we shared a cab to the airport.

Here's my helpful hints: If you don't have business cards, make yourself some. There's a template in MS Word, and you can get them printed up at any copy shop. Conference lunch fare (in the convention center, at least) tends to be of the hot dog variety, so I went all school lunch style and brought juice boxes, granola bars, fruit leather, and little containers of applesauce. I packed enough for breakfast, too.

This was my second big ALA gathering. I went to annual in Chicago partially so I could get the whole business of being overwhelmed out of the way and focus on interviews and job stuff at Midwinter. When you're heading to your first or second conference, don't be fooled by the big glossy program. In fact, I would suggest skipping most of the sessions as a first timer. There's a good chance that somebody will blog about what happened, so you don't have to physically attend to get the content. If you do go to a session, get there early, mill about, and introduce yourself to people. Because conference is all about people, folks. Make sure you go to a social every night that you're there. And schedule some time for aimless wandering. By the end of the weekend, I started to think of myself as a pinball. The more I let myself be jostled around, seemingly at random, the more I started to bump into really exciting stuff.


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