It is humid. The World Cup is on. Women in sensible shoes and cat vests are mingling with NextGens sporting tattoos and dyed hair, all vying for advance reader’s copies or a cold beer. It must be a librarian conference!
It has been a couple years since I was really in the swing of an ALA conference and I almost forgot the headiness of it all, the intoxicating sense of being with people who inspire you and drive you forward. Friday, I had a lot of moments that sounded like this in my mind, “I love librarians! I love being inspired by their will to face any challenge. I love talking about big issues with smart, funny, snarky, beautiful people!” Over and over all day.
For the first time Friday, I was able to attend the Library Journal Movers and Shakers lunch. This year it was at the National Press Club. As I sat listening to all of the fabulous things the new class of Movers and Shakers did to forward the cause of libraries, literacy, and knowledge I was truly, utterly humbled. It was amazing. They are amazing.
Besides sit in that room full of people that are doing astounding things, I serendipitously ran into my first boss after library school. She was the kind of boss everyone should have at their first job. She was encouraging and supportive. She fought hard for her team. She found my strengths and let me follow them, regardless of their actual relation to my job. She spoiled me for anyone else actually. Now, I am blessed that Clara is my friend still though professionally we have moved on.
I had an astounding first day and things only got better from there.
I felt that I listened more at this conference. I usually have a lot to say, but I felt more like a sponge than anything else. What I heard were the dreams and ideas of people that I regard very highly. I have some specific reflections on a couple ideas, but those can come later.
I think this marks the beginning of me being back into the midst of things and I am happy to be surrounded by the chaos of my peers.
–Jane, loves being a librarian