The ALA has created the ALA Digital Content and Libraries Working Group

The ALA has created the ALA Digital Content and Libraries Working Group which I think may be a good step in the right direction with the encroaching of eBooks, ePublishing, eDistribution, and just about eEverything else. I recieved the email below on the ALA Council Listserv from Molly Raphael who is the current President of the American Library Association. Let me know what you think of this development and ALA’s role in digital content and information.

New digital forms of information offer rich and extraordinary opportunities for libraries to expand community access to information and to revolutionize in positive ways the relationship between libraries and users. At the same time, these new forms of digital content pose new challenges for libraries.

As libraries struggle to meet these challenges of providing digital content in an environment characterized by significant uncertainty and changing on a daily basis, there is a need for this Association-wide group of experts, broadly representative of the many constituencies within the library community, that can proactively address these digital content opportunities and issues at the highest level and from both a policy and practical perspective.

To this end, the ALA Digital Content and Libraries Working Group will be charged to:

  • Advise the Association regarding opportunities and issues related to libraries and digital content and the provision of equitable access to digital content for all.
  • Explore, analyze and share information on various options for expanding access to digital content for libraries and the public and for overcoming legal, technological, policy and economic barriers to equitable access
  • Suggest information and training that would be of use to librarians so that they can make informed choices, serve as advocates for digital access, and design and support digital services.
  • Advise the Association on efforts to increase public awareness and understanding of issues related to access to digital content and the challenges to/role of libraries in providing equitable access to digital resources.
  • Assist in the identification of strategies to influence decision makers—whether government officials, publishers, other information service providers, interest groups, and others—to effect changes that would assist libraries in better serving their communities.
  • Address specific issues such as Business Models, Accessibility, Privacy, Education for the Library Community, Public Outreach and Publisher/Service Provider Relations through working subcommittees, bringing in other experts and advisors as appropriate.
  • Serve as formal liaisons to various ALA and ALA affiliate groups (examples would include the divisions, round tables, ethnic affiliates, and ALA Accessibility Assembly).
  • As appropriate, reach out to other organizations and experts in other fields in order to better understand the broad technological, social and economic environments and trends and their potential impact on libraries
  • Working Group members have been selected based on their high level of expertise and range of experience regarding libraries and digital content, and to be broadly representative of the various constituencies within the Association and library community and various types of libraries and library situations. A list of members of the new Working Group is attached as well as additional details on the Working Group’s scope of work and proposed responsibilities. We are grateful for their willingness to serve and especially for the willingness of the two co-chairs , Sari Feldman and Robert Wolven, to lead this very important effort. ALA President-elect Maureen Sullivan has volunteered to serve as the Executive Board’s liaison.

    #calibconf Battledecks: The Battle Continues!

    Announcing the triumphant return of Battledecks to the California Library and School Library Conference!

    This fun and exciting program will challenge some of the best Library Presenters in California to show their skill and test their mettle!

    Presenters will battle it out to give the best improvisational presentation based upon a set of 10 often humorous, unrelated, and hand-created slides that they are seeing for the first time live on stage. The presenters will face tough judgment and scrutiny from an unbiased and inscrutable team of judges. The best presenter will be determined based upon a variety of criteria but most importantly on their overall level of AWESOME! The most awesome presenter will walk away with the pride and honor of being crowned CLA/CSLA Battledecks champion of 2011.

    Awesomeness, entertainment, and hilarity, along with a healthy dose of learning, is guaranteed for all!

    Following the state library reception at 7:30pm in the Convention Center Main Deck from 7-8 pm (the same time)

    Contenders for the title: (Could it be you? Volunteer!!)

    1) Stacy Aldrich
    2) Oleg Kagan
    3) Derek Wolfgram
    4) Lorin Bowen Ayre (Defending Champion)
    5) Glen Warren
    6) Jennifer Baker

    Judges: (Could it be you? Volunteer!!)
    1) Rosario Garza
    2) Sam McBane Mulford
    3) Hildie Verlaine Kraus
    4) Kirby McCurtis

    Emcee: Patrick Sweeney
    Timekeeper/Vanna White: Andrea Davis
    Slidemakers: Patrick Sweeney, Ashley Kagan (Burdick), Stephanie Roach
    Logo (coming soon): __Anyone a graphic artist?____

    Halftime Entertainment: Joan Frye Williams and George Needham in an exhibition Team Battledecks round!

    Prizes: (To be Announced)

    For more information or to register view the event on Facebook

    Library Good News: The FCC Knows How Important Libraries Are!

    I received this email from the fabulous Bobbi Newman on the ALA Council Listserv about today’s FCC announcement regarding broadband adoption that highlights the role of libraries now and in the future. Bobbi wrote up a fantastic (and analytical) post about it already so I’ll just highlight the part that is about libraries so you don’t have to read the whole thing. Here is the part most related to libraries;

    For millions of Americans, libraries are the only place where they can get online. For millions more, libraries are an important complement to at-home connectivity, and they remain, as they always have been, a trusted resource in communities.

    During the day, libraries have become job centers and librarians career counselors – and after school a place where many students go to do homework online. Last year, more than 30 million Americans used library connections to seek and apply for jobs, and 12 million children used them to do homework. Millions of others are using library connections for health information. Many – but not enough – of America’s 16,000 public libraries have become vital centers for digital literacy.

    Librarians are helping meet some of the vast need — and I applaud them. But according to a recent Gates Foundation-funded survey, only 38% of all libraries offer a basic digital literacy class. In rural areas, in places like West Virginia, it’s only 25% of libraries. That’s a big missed opportunity. We should aim to double those numbers.

    The E-Rate program – one of our most successful programs – connects schools and libraries to the Internet. Senator Jay Rockefeller, the great champion of E-Rate who, along with Senator Olympia Snowe and others, created the program, once said, “Our classrooms and our libraries are often the only way that our children and citizens can tap into the wonders of computers and the links to a vast world of information and knowledge. We want schools to be a place where children delve into computers. We want libraries to be vibrant centers of learning for families.”

    In that spirit, we plan to launch a proceeding to explore how the E-Rate program can expand access to digital literacy training at more public libraries and schools across the country and, ultimately, forming a Digital Literacy Corps.

    Going to ALA Conferences? You’re Doing it Wrong!

    I never used to enjoy going to the ALA Conferences and I’ve heard so many people say the same thing. They were always too big, too overwhelming, and just… too much. But, at the ALA Conference in Washington DC 2010 I was invited to stay at a vacation house with 11 other Librarians that was organized by Justin Hoenke and JP Porcaro. I was excited about this for a couple of reasons.

    1) Justin and JP are awesome humans
    2) It was way cheaper than the ALA hotels
    3) It would be a totally new conference experience

    So of course, I said yes. In the days coming up to the conference various emails were sent to introduce everyone to each other and to talk about anything that we might want to do as a group at the conference. Somewhere in these emails, someone, at some point, jokingly called the house the ALA Think Tank (because it rarely seems as if people are thinking at ALA) and the name stuck. This conference experience was amazing and I learned more than I could have ever hoped. By the end of the conference, I realized that this was the only way to go to ALA and the ALA Think Tank folks have done one Midwinter and two annuals like this. What follows is everything I learned about conference going from the awesome folks in this house.

    Start a Think Tank.
    I can’t stress this enough. The benefits of a house are HUGE! The full kitchen and communal living dramatically reduce the cost of conference housing and food. There will always be someone to do something with and you’ll be plugged into so many different things going on at ALA then you would be alone in your hotel room. It also makes a great space to have your own meetings and socials to meet even more people. You also get to hear about all the other things that your roommates learned at the conference and greatly increase the amount of take-away information you’ll get. I learned so much from my Think Tank folks that I’m still processing information from DC.

    Get on Twitter, Facebook, tumblr, instagram
    I know, everyone is saying this, you’re probably sick of hearing it. Why aren’t you on the social medias? By following the ALA conference hashtag or seeing what your friends are posting online about the conference you can find out about the best sessions, networking events, book signings, latest updates from ALA, where all the freebies are, blogs about what other people learned at the conference, tons of various tidbits of information from other librarians learning things, and you’ll get to find opportunities to meet more librarians. If you don’t know where to start:

    1) Facebook – Join the ALA Think Tank
    2) Tumblr – Browse the Tumblarians list
    3) Twitter/instagram – Follow the hashtags (the official hashtag is #ala2013 but everyone is blowing up #ala13)

    Meet Everyone
    Meeting folks and networking with other awesombrarians is really one of the best things I get out of ALA. There are so many people doing rad projects at their libraries and meeting them at the socials and after parties gave me opportunities to find out what they are excited about. Of course, there are over 20 thousand people at ALA so meeting everyone is not at all possible but at least put yourself out there and talk to everyone you can! You would be surprised where a random conversation at a meeting or a networking event will take you.

    Forget about the Sessions and Workshops
    As a tie-in to the previous three tips, I think this has really helped me learn even more while at the conferences. I know it seems totally backwards but I learned so much more at everything else ALA has to offer that I stopped going to sessions and workshops. The problem is that the session proposals are written a year ahead of the conference and by the time you get to the conference (if you’re on FB and twitter) you’re going to be sick of hearing about whatever the session is because it will have been discussed and blogged about ad-nauseum all of the days to and following the conference. Instead, I recommend the following three tips;

    Get involved… In something!
    My own personal choice was Emerging Leaders. This was a great pre-Think Tank kind of group learning experience. Through Emerging Leaders I figured out how to navigate the ALA and first met many of the people that I currently work with in the ALA. While my experience in my EL project itself was less than stellar, I did meet a bunch of amazing librarians and got gently pushed into running for ALA Council. All of the committees and council stuff that I’m involved in keeps me learning and pushing me forward. If you don’t want to get involved in Emerging Leaders you should visit the ALA Office at the conference and they can explain how to get involved in ALA in many different ways.

    Typically, I get up at 7-8am on conference days to get to the conference for my morning meetings and various obligations. This is rough considering I also typically spend most of the night out with librarians at various council forums, meetups, socials, and after-hours networking events. It’s during these times that I corner my professional heroes and talk to them about what they are working on right now. I’m interested in learning what the next big thing is that they are excited about. Also, I find that people are far more truthful about their previous projects over a beer then they are at the session they held. People are more open about their fails and how they overcame obstacles at these events then they are in the more professional conference setting. It’s also during these times that some of the best projects that I have been involved with in librarianship arose. Basically, by partying as much as I could with as many brilliant people as I can find, I have been able to learn more meaningful, current, and useful information in librarianship.

    ALA loves to say that they are your organization. This is a lie. You are ALA’s organization. You are the one who has the ability to make your conference experience as amazing as you want it to be. It is your duty and obligation to get out there and make whatever you think should happen at a conference happen at the conference. For example, JP Porcaro, Amanda Pilmer, Justin Hoenke, and Jenn Walker decided to make an ALA Dance Party happen so they organized it and it was epic. If you think your conference experience would be better if there was a QR code hunt, you can make that happen. If you would like to help other people make awesome stuff happen at the conference you can join the group on FB called the ALA Think Tank and see where you can help #makeithappen. Overall though, it’s your conference and if you don’t get everything you can out of it, you have no one else to blame. Don’t complain, #makeithappen.

    Bonus tip – Friend JP Porcaro on Facebook and Twitter. (and google+)
    Trust me on this one.

    Emerging Leaders Running for Office!

    If you were a past or current EL you can support your fellow Emerging Leaders by voting for them in the 2011 ALA Elections! I’d link all of their info but it looks like you can’t get to it unless you have logged in to the ALA site for voting.

    Eileen Bosch
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ALA Council

    Keri Cascio
    EL 2007
    Candidate: ALCTS Member at Large

    Amber Creger
    EL 2008
    Candidate: ALSC Newbery Commitee

    Mara Degnan-Rojeski
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ACRL LPSS Member at Large

    Jenny Emanuel
    EL 2007
    Candidate: ALA Council

    Angelica Guerrero Fortin
    EL 2009
    Candidate: ALA Council

    Ed Garcia
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ALA Council

    Wendy Girven
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ACRL ULS Secretary

    Chris Harris
    EL 2007
    Candidate: AASL Treasurer

    Arianne Hartsell-Gundy
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ACRL LES Vice Chair/Chair Elect

    Megan Hodge
    EL 2011
    Candidate: NMRT Leadership Director

    Tracey Hughes
    EL 2007
    Candidate: MAGERT Vice Chair/Chair Elect

    Florante Peter Ibanez
    EL 2007
    Candidate: ALA Council

    Susan Jennings
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ALA Council – NMRT Representative

    Darcel Jones
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ALA Council

    Robin Kear
    EL 2008
    Candidate: IRRT Member at Large

    Kate Kosturski
    EL 2011
    Candidate: ALA Council

    Portia Latalladi
    EL 2009
    Candidate: PLA Board of Director, Director at Large

    Kirby McCurtis
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ALA Council

    Elizabeth Moreau
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ALSC Newberry Committee

    JP Porcaro
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ALA Council

    Jacquie Samples
    EL 2008
    Candidate: ALCTS CRS Vice Chair/Chair Elect

    Wayne Sanders
    EL 2008
    Candidate: ACRL ANSS Vice Chair/Chair Elect

    Wendy Stephens
    EL 2008
    Candidate: ALA Council

    Holly Tomren
    EL 2009
    Candidate: ALA Council

    Jennifer Wann Walker
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ALA Council
    Candidate: SLAS Member at Large

    Janel White
    EL 2010
    Candidate: NMRT Vice President/President Elect

    Michael Witt
    EL 2008
    Candidate: LITA Director at Large

    Lynda Kellam
    EL 2010
    Candidate: ACRL’s Law and Political Science Section Secretary

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    A Post from the Past- “It Looks Like They Run The Place”

    As I have been exploring my ideas about librarianship the last couple of weeks, I haven’t really written or posted anything lately. I’ve been quietish on Twitter and posted about other things on Facebook. But during this time I went and read the blog I kept while I was in Library school and while I was working as an elementary school librarian. I was reminded of why I became a librarian in the first place.

    This post, and a few others to come are going to be reposted from my old blog to remind me what I thought was important and what I still think is important after years of hard labor as a “real” librarian. This post was called:

    It Looks Like They Run The Place (and They Do)

    At the beginning of the school year one of the students who had helped in the library quite a bit last year asked if he could have a nametag like someone would wear at a real job. Thinking that I would humor him, and besides he had actually done a lot in the library, I made one out of a piece construction paper. It was handwritten, had his name under the words “library assistant” and it was taped to his shirt. He wore so proudly that soon I had a large number of students coming into the library asking if they could be library assistants too. At the time I was putting together my display for October so I told them that if they could find 5 library books about something happening in October to add to the display then they could be library assistants too. Much to my surprise they did it enthusiastically. It took many of them 4-6 days to find all the books but very few students gave up trying. So now, about a month and a half later I have about 15 library assistants.

    Here are the new typed nametags. I just like the way they looks all lined up like this.

    This means my role in the library has drastically changed. I now have a more of a supervisory role. My assistants have taken on a number of projects of their own that they designed and that they are in charge of. Every once in a while I design a project for them and they take it over, but they are getting better and better at creating some of their own ideas and putting them into action.

    One of the projects that I assigned to them was the creation of more posters similar to the ones I had described in an earlier post. After I remove a cover they cut it up and tape it together and staple it to the wall wherever they can find an open space. Here is the picture of their work;

    They have also taken over the monthly displays. The display at the front of my desk is reserved for events that take place throughout the month such as holidays during the current month or events that happened in that month. These are where the five books that students find to be a library assistant are displayed.

    There is also a display on a long shelf that they completely control. They decide what kind of books are put up there and they create the signage for it. It is completely theirs. This is what it looks like.

    Lastly, the students can also create their own books that I catalogue, put in the collection, and allow them to check out. Some of the teachers also have classroom projects where the class creates a book for the library and I do the same with that one as well. Since they are almost always checked out this is the only picture of one that I have.

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    Cool Guys Don’t Look at Explosions (and other thoughts on walking away)

    I recently came across a job opening in an organization far outside of librarianship. It involved a lot of the things I was passionate about as a kid and am even more passionate about as an adult. This position was for a sailing non-profit organization that takes children out on the San Francisco bay to educate them about sailing, marine sciences, and more. For those of you who don’t know I love sailing, I love teaching, I love working with kids, and I am kind of a fanatic about oceanic conservation. Anyway, talking about my love for this job advertisement is not the point of this post. The point of this post is the following video…

    What does this have to do with libraries you might ask? Well, I was thinking about, and have been thinking about budget cuts, checked-out librarians that refuse to retire, passionate and newer librarians who are dying to get the chance to do amazing work in libraries but can’t find job openings, ALA’s ludicrous and ineffectual institutionalization, ALA’s and state organization’s unwillingness to act as an advocate for librarianship, librarian’s unwillingness to fight for librarianship, library closures, library reductions in staff and money, libraries lack of ability (or refusal) to adapt to a changing information world, vendors that overcharge and under-deliver products and services that library patrons can’t or refuse to use, the hostile political environment of the people who claim that freedom isn’t free but someone else should pay for it, and all of the other systems in place that are working to keep libraries from getting ahead. So, my thought was… At what point do we become cool guys?

    At what point to do we say forget all this, blow it all up, and walk away? Is it really worth it? There are many librarians who are having the same thoughts, Justin Hoenke also started questioning what is important, Tiffany Mair (who you should hire because she’s way better than me at everything) just had to apply for a job at Starbucks, and there many other amazing (typically younger and newer) librarians who have the passion and drive to fight for our profession but are questioning whether or not it’s all worth it. There are many days that I don’t think it is. There are many days that I want to blow it all up and walk away, but not today… Today, it’s worth it.

    Of course, we’ll have to wait and see what happens tomorrow.

    *added info- Roy Tennant wrote an exactly right response to this. His advice is what is keeping many of us here. So if you’re reading this (although if you are, you’re probably coming here from his blog) and you’re feeling the same way, read his advice because it will keep you sane. If I didn’t have the crew of the Think Tank and some great Library Friends to keep me sane I would have quit or killed someone by now. Also, working for an amazing organization helps 🙂

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    The Great Librarian Write-Out!

    It’s time for librarians to get out of the echo-chamber of librarianship and get some good words out to the people. So I’m proposing an award (my own personal money) of $250 for the best library-related article to be published in a non-library magazine or journal. Yes, that’s right… My own personal money!! That’s how important this is to me!

    There are thousands of amazing writers in our profession who write their own blogs and write for our professional magazines and journals, but rarely (or never) do I see an article written for the public in a major national magazine about how libraries help society in some great way. I don’t think there has ever been a time when such articles should be appearing amidst the news of library closures, resource cutting, and layoffs. Its time that we got the word out about libraries to as many people as possible!!

    It seems to me that there are hundreds of topics for articles that could be written that would be applicable to the content of a major magazine. Off of the top of my head I’m thinking

    -Saving Businesses Money (or starting a business) with Library Resources
    – Forbes
    – Entrepreneur
    – Fortune
    -Business Week

    -How someone learned about their cultural identity at the library
    – Ebony
    – Latina
    – Out!

    -Pet Care information

    But this is only scratching the surface of the possibilities. I could keep going but I think you get the idea. If you want to participate and win $250 for your article published in a non-library journal or magazine, here are the criteria;

    -You must be in some way related to the library profession, a library vendor, a patron, a friend of a patron, or at least heard of the idea of libraries at one point in your life.

    -It must be a pro-library article speaking positively about the benefits of libraries in some aspect of society and addressing the need for folks to get up and go to the library for some reason or another.

    -The article must be printed between February 15 2011, and the first day of the ALA Midwinter Meeting on January 20th 2012

    -It must be published in a non-library related magazine or journal with a national (United States) or international circulation. More points will be given to an article in a magazine with the largest circulation, and you will receive bonus points for a feature article.

    -You must submit, your name, the title, and date of publication (for verification) by emailing us or commenting below.

    The articles will be judged by the members of the Think Tank at the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting in Dallas Texas in 2012. The winner will be announced January 24th 2012.

    If you want to help us up the ante for prize money let us know by commenting below or sending us a message. Also, any money raised through our Café Press store will go towards added prizes and awards and other library advocacy projects as well so feel free to shop away!

    Please be sure to sign up for the event on Facebook!!

    *This event is brought to you by the members of the Think Tank.*
    JP Porcarro
    Allen McGinley
    Jenn Walker
    Tiffany Mair
    Andrea Davis

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    What If Patrons Decide Their Own Due Dates?

    Patron Generated Check-out Lengths
    While writing my last blog post I had another idea spurred by the need for an extended check out length for the business book bins. I realized (as I’m sure many of you have as well) that many different patrons read at different speeds and check out books and resources of varying degrees of length and difficulty. Not only that but, many patrons are working on research projects that might take longer than the standard the 2 weeks or 3 weeks that a library assigns to all of its books. The problem here is that we have invented one sized shoe in a world where people have different sized feet. But what if the patron could decide what sized shoe they wear? Or, what I really mean is, what if the patron could decide what length of checkout their items had?

    I feel like this would be fairly simple to accomplish in many libraries. Basically when a patron checks out an item they would type in their preferred due date. They could choose however long that they figured it would take them to read the book or finish their project. Of course, I suppose some limits should be set. I wouldn’t want someone checking out a book for a hundred years or anything but I would love to see the length of time be set to something much longer than it currently is.

    It seems like this would solve a lot of problems. In this system, since the patrons pre-determined their own due date they could remember it better and not have that argument at the counter about not remembering when their books were due. They would also be able to have the item for the length of time that they need it and they couldn’t complain about not having enough time to finish it or their project. It would also mean that when there are holds on the item (thus negating the option for renewals) the patrons could still have the time to do what they need to do.

    In contrast to a no fines system
    One of the other solutions is a no-fine system. Well, yeah right! Try to get that to fly with budgets being so tight and cities thinking that library fines are a money making system to supplement their new crosswalk project. I think that no-fine systems are good for a number of reasons, but in real-life I have seen some problems arise that I won’t take the time to outline here. So, I would think that we could still issue daily overdue fines and fees as a way to get materials returned, but patrons would have more power over their charges and I’m always for power to the people.

    The Big Problem
    The most glaring obvious problem here is the circulation software. This option is definitely not set-up in the software for patrons so I doubt this idea has any real legs to run on. Maybe some of you out there can get someone to try it out at your library? I don’t know, that’s a vendor fight that we would never win, but if anyone wants to take it on, be my guest.

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    Things to be excited about at #calibconf

    Having grown up in the greater Sacramento Region, I thought I’d give some of you out-of-towners, some tips and pointers about what to do, where to go, and all of that. Sort of like a mini tour guide. I hope you have a great time in Sacramento. I know I’m going to enjoy being back in my hometown!

    Sacramento is home to some of my favorite restaurants and bars and the list just keeps getting longer and longer. Here is a my short list of delicious food options and some recommended menu items.

    Tapa the World
    Tapas the World has some of the best tapas I have ever had. I wholeheartedly recommend that you do two things while here. The first is that you must absolutely try the olives. The bright green ones melt in your mouth like butter except they are far more delicious. The second thing you need to do is be adventurous and let the waiter know that they should surprise with 3-4 of their favorite tapas. I have done this everytime I have been here (I go here a lot) and it has yet to fail me. Most tapas are under 10$ anyway so you won’t have to worry about huge bills at the end.

    This is probably my favorite Sushi restaurant in the entire world right now. The sushi is fresh, the restaurant is clean, and the servers are great. What else can I ask for?

    Two things to try, the Sweet Potato Beer and the preserved wasabi root. The sweet potato beer is incredible! I’m not sure how to describe it, but it’s a dark beer with a taste like a wheat and if I never drank another beer in my life… The preserved wasabi root is a variation on that traditional wasabi paste you get everywhere. But this has a fresher and cleaner flavor to it and I now can’t believe anyone ever served wasabi as a paste from a tube.

    Fannie Annes
    Three words… Peanut. Butter. Burger. It’s actually called a jiffy burger and the ingredients are: Peanut Butter, Hamburger Pattie, Bacon, Cheese, and of course a bun. This is not a meal for the faint of heart and if you know anything about healthy eating this is not a meal for the unhealthy heart. I’m pretty sure this burger will kill you if the deliciousness doesn’t!!

    Places to See

    Train Museum
    Located in Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum is a complex of historic facilities and unique attractions. Widely regarded as North America’s most popular railroad museum, there is something here for everyone! Throughout the year, experience lavishly restored trains, engaging exhibits, and unique special events.

    Old Sac
    From the website – The unique 28-acre National Historic Landmark District and State Historic Park is located along the beautiful Sacramento River. Bustling with activity, the district is alive with shopping, dining, entertainment, historical attractions and world-renowned museums set within the time of the California Gold Rush and the Transcontinental Railroad.

    Capital Building
    Catch a quick glance of the Governator! The Capital Building has been the home of the California Legislature since 1869, the State Capitol underwent a major renovation that restored much of the building’s original look. You can tour the restored historic offices of the Secretary of State, Treasurer, and Governor of the State of California. The building features exhibits and tours – and while the website says that you can “possibly an opportunity to watch the legislators debate a bill or cast a vote.” We all know the sad truth behind that one. I won’t comment here.

    Second Saturday
    Second Saturday in Sacramento is a fiasco to say the least. But it is also a great time if you know a few of the great places to go. Originally this night was a celebration of all of the great art and cultural activities that take place in Sacramento. For the most part (or at least the early part of the night) this is exactly what this is. However, as the night progresses the bars stay open longer and more and more people crowd the streets in what is becoming one of the great gatherings of people in California. Most of them are young and drinking heavily so if that’s not your scene, check out the galleries and restaurants early and watch the insanity from a quiet place.

    However, if you are into the night life, this will be a fantastic night of good times for you. While it is the LGBT district of Sacramento I highly recommend the K and 21st intersection. The bars are great, the dress code is relaxed, and the people are a lot of fun!

    A few of the New Libraries to See
    There are quite a few new libraries around the Sacramento area and I would encourage you to take a tour of them when you get a chance. But I’m sure you will hear about them from the Sacramento Public Library folks. So, instead I will send you further out to explore the new Lincoln Public Library at Twelve Bridges and the new Martha Riley Library in Roseville. Both are fantastic in their own ways.

    However, if you do want to stay in the Sacramento Area and see some new libraries and don’t hear from Sacramento Public Libraries, I guess I should mention them. So be sure to visit their new LEED-certified branches: Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven, North Natomas, and Valley-Hi. But really… All of the Sacramento Public Libraries are great and I’ve been to most of them.

    Special Events At the Conference

    Reggae night
    On Friday night you should check out the Reggae night at the Capital Garage that Tiffany Mair is putting together. This is an off-the-books event and should just be a whole lot of fun!

    The unconference at the Pasadena CLA was my favorite part of the whole conference. This is a loosely organized area where people can meet and talk about shared interests and ideas. Last year they met with new librarians and talked about finding jobs, social media, and many other topics. If there is something that you want to talk about you can even organize a meeting of like-minded folks and have your own conference session!

    CYRM Banquet
    The California Young Reader Medal is one of my favorite awards of all time. The books are chosen by librarians and children so they are always fantastic read-a-louds. When I was a school librarian (best job ever!) these were always my go-to read-a-louds and the kids always loved them. I can’t say enough wonderful things about CYRM so I won’t even try, but check them out.

    Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t give a little shout out to my own event at CLA/CSLA. This of course is Battledecks. If you’re not sure what it is, the title links to my other blog entry that fully describes the whole event. It’s the same time as CYRM and both events will be EPIC so whatever you attend you won’t miss out!

    I’m excited to see you all there, so go ahead and add me on twitter and/or just about any other social network. My screenname is always pcsweeney and you can find me anywhere that way. Find me and tell me about what you are excited about at CLA! If you’re not online, lets sit and have a drink and talk libraries for a while. See you there!

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