I’m still in New Orleans, but ALA is over.  Many of the librarians, et al, have packed up and gone home.  The Mister and I have one more day to enjoy together before we both get on planes going to different places.  I find myself unable to make up my mind as to what I should do with this last day.  I have a couple of souvenirs to pick up and a box of books to ship home.  We should probably eat something.  But right now we are just sitting companionably in our artfully messy hotel room listening to the St. Charles street car go by every 10 minutes.

I have been to conferences before, even ALA.  In fact, I have been to dental conferences (don’t ask).  This is the first conference where it really clicked why I am here.  The sessions were good–I learned a lot about the future of digital media (ebooks, music, etc.), cloud computing, databases, and most importantly, myself.  I talked to people I didn’t know and gave them ideas from our system that they will take away and use to make their school library more interactive with students.  I learned from them too, in many ways.  Mostly I learned that my system is amazing, that we do a lot, even if we librarians sometimes feel that we, as a system, don’t take that first innovative step until someone else has tested the field.  There are a lot of places where we are the front runners in public libraries.

The panel I moderated went amazingly well.  Forty people came, which was great since it was in the very last time slot for presentations at the conference and that’s about what the room could hold comfortably.  There was a good representation of academic and public libraries in the audience and many of them had zine collections.  Our panelists, Jenna Freedman, Chris Ritzo and John Stevens made for a well rounded presentation.  Jenna is a librarian at Bernard College, which has an extensive zine collection.  Chris is a volunteer librarian at the Urbana Champaign Independant Media Center.  And John is at the State Library in Melbourne Austrailia, where zines are archived for the future.  Both John and Jenna have their own zines in addition to helping preserve them.  All three are very active in the zine culture in their areas, as well as in their professional pursuits.

After the panel we all trooped out to the parking lot to ooh and ah over the Zine Mobile, which will be taking a jolly band of zinester librarians (and honorary, or rogue as the case may be ;) on a road trip that passes through Florida and ends up in Milwaukee for the 3rd annual Zine Librarians Un-Conference.  I loved the van:

Once again, I am not going to tell you about what I am reading now because I wouldn’t do it justice under all this conference talk.  I’ll have a special book review edition after I return home.

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