The unabashed mounting fervor surrounding ALA midwinter is about to crash down on Boston like an Avalanche. I’m not going to lie, I’m one of the conference fanboys, but I feel like this conference is already off to a kind of insane beginning. As I’m watching the twitter feed it seems to be exploding with just about every kind of activity that makes these overly large conferences such a good time. I’m going to share with you some of this craziness in case you’re missing it.
1) Librarian Tattoos
Inspired by Andy Woodworth’s campaign for a Ben And Jerry’s Library Flavored Ice Cream, there has been a call for all librarians to get tattoos at ALAMW. Or, as the creator of this campaign (Justin Hoenke also from 8bitlibrary.com) has called the campaign – “Project Brand Yourself.” Yes, this is as crazy as it seems. Librarians are going to descend on Boston area Tattoo parlors and get branded with the library logo. Now, I’m a big library fan and I would love to just go and watch librarians get branded with the library logo, and I even want a tattoo, but I’m not sure this is going to be my first. If you get one, let me know when and where so I can watch or at least post a photo. I support this project and support everyone who gets a tattoo. Go get’em!
2) The Socials
By following the twitter hashtag #alamw10 I’ve decided that librarians drink the highest amount of alcohol per capita vs. just about any other profession anywhere. Don’t believe me? Just take a look at the socials and happy hour events going on at ala. It’s going to be hard on my liver.
YALSA Happy Hour
GODORT Happy Hour
ALA Emerging Leaders Meetup
ALAMW Tweetup for Newbies
ALA After Hours Social
3) The Twitter Feed itself
Already, the hashtag #alamw10 is on fire with content and information. I’m excited to see how this plays out over the course of the conference. It’s possible, that like #CLA09, the feed will die out once the conference begins but with the number of power tweeters attending this conference I’m not sure that will be the case. If you’re new to Twitter or just need some good folks to follow for this conference, I’d like to recommend a couple to you (there are far too many to list them all, these are just a few);
And of course the Official Tweet of ALA Midwinter
With the high number of power tweeters comes a high volume of power bloggers. What’s nice about these folks is that they almost all have a Twitter account and you can find them via the conference hashtag. One exception, of course, is Annoyed Librarian, but nobody likes her anyway. But, in case you’re not a twitterer I’ll give you some of my favorite bloggers just in case. Here they are (in no particular order);
5) The Conference
Of course, let’s not forget the reason we are all here in the first place. This conference is huge. Perhaps this conference is not as big as ALA annual but it is still very large. ALA reports an average attendance of 11-12 thousand librarians. While this conference is mostly a business meeting, there will be some really great institutes, meetings, discussion groups, and other events covering everything from web 2.0 to such staples as Library Management. With so much going on it’s hard to decide what to do first. But everything you need to plan your ALA conference is available online via Twitter, Facebook events, Organization Blogs and websites, and at ala.org through their event planner, and ALA Connect. Take some time and check them out.
6) ALA Secrets…
For those of you who want to know what really happens at ALA midwinter, or those of you with secrets to share I’d like to introduce you to alasecrets.com. You can submit you own secrets, trysts, misdeeds, and misfortunes at the conference anonymously for the rest of us to live vicariously through. This twitterfeed is absolutely entertaining and so are many librarian’s reactions to it! I love that it causes such a stir that it was hacked and brought down at the last conference. I hope that everyone can be cool and have a good time checking out what’s really up with librarians (even if we’re lying about it).
Have fun team!