Midwinter Round-Up, the good bits

This is the round-up post minus the soapbox elements. In this post, I write about the things I liked about my trip and the things that made me feel good about ALA. There were, of course, some not fabulous things about Midwinter, but I am putting those in their very own post. Just for you, readers, because I know how you sometimes like a good bitch.

ALA Midwinter was fun, if very quick, for me this year. I flew in on Saturday and left Monday. Philadelphia was a nice city to visit, even if I left one rainy cold city for the same weather at home.

The best meeting I attended by far was the Jim Rettig Presidential Advisory Board Meeting. It was a good meeting for two reasons:

First, it was very well run and efficient. Second, at no time during the meeting was any idea turned down with a no or dismissed. We instead discussed how to make each idea feasible, even if it meant giving the idea to a group who could handle it better. I left feeling positive about the possibilities for the group’s initiatives and it was the best meeting I attended all conference, including the one that I helped run. It affirmed my belief that there are plenty of people in ALA who want to try new things.

The ALA Publishing Reception was at the Mutter Museum at the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. I liked the babies in jars and fetal skeletons displays the best followed closely by the syphilitic skulls. I have not seen so many cool skulls since Physical Anthropology in college. Fabulous. The Terminal Street Market was wonderfully full of delicious food, spices, fruits, vegetables, and handmade items. It was a feast for the eyes and the belly. I had some veggie samosas from Nandi’s Kitchen that were fantabulous.

This is likely be my last ALA until Annual 09 because I plan on staying home from traveling for a year after Baby Rochester arrives. I still have virtual commitments to several committees and that will continue. It made all my meetings with friends bittersweet, knowing I would only see people online for a large amount of time until I start the conference circuit again. It was nice to see old friends and meet some new people, as always.

The Blog Salon was fun, as usual, and was in a wonderfully large room this year. Sadly, there were no shower caps, but I did see a group in Second Life off to one side. I also met the creator of the “March of the Librarians” video, Nick Baker, who is a lovely person.

As I was uploading pictures to Flickr, it dawned on me that I take less pictures when I am not drinking. My set for Midwinter is very small as a consequence of my being in Philadelphia for a shorter period than normal and for the distinct lack of alcohol consumed. I still have a handful to get online.

The wifi, though occasionally spotty (as wifi sometimes is), was usable in most areas of the conference center. Thank you, ALA. It is much appreciated and was noted by this blogger. I hope this is a precedence that only improves.

–Jane, it’s raining in Houston today

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