Going to ALA can be expensive and I know that there are many of you starving MLIS students out here who came to ALA on your own dime. There is also a buttload of unemployed librarians who paid their way to ALA, and even more folks whose library didn’t pay them for their trip out. There are many ways that you can save money at the conference by sharing hotels, taxis, and volunteering for passes into the conference, but did you know that you can also get books and prizes and eat and drink for free?
I’ve never eaten better than at an ALA conference and mostly I eat and drink for free! This is in large part due to my fantastic Think Tank team and the sharing of what’s happening at the conference. When one of use hears about something free we text each other and we all descend on the free goodies like a pack of vultures. Well… Now you can be a vulture too!
The vendors at the conferences want you to come and check out their products and they usually try to entice you with free food, drinks, and other good stuff. Mango Languages, for example, is keenly aware of the starving librarian and almost always has something delicious at their booth. However, the big problem is knowing where these events take place, so I am once again proposing a hashtag for all of us to share where we find the free stuff! So, whenever you find something free you can tweet about it and let some of these starving librarians in on the goods using the hashtag #ALAfree. Who knows? You might find out about some of the cool new stuff that our vendors are offering too!
If you are a vendor and want to let people in on the secret, don’t be shy about using the hashtag to entice these future customers to come and see your products and services with free good stuff.
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