10 Midwinter and ALA things you should absolutely never do if you want to have the best conference experience ever; or If a Buzzfeed writer attended the New Members Round Table Conference Orientation session….
1. Don't throw away your program.
Because flipping through it is a great way to get yourself oriented to the conference.
2. Don’t freak out because there are 57,000 ALA members.
Because its real benefit is helping you get to really know 6 or 8 or 12 people.
3. Don’t sit anywhere.
Because it’s okay to sit strategically in case you need to leave a program.
4. Don’t worry if you spill your drink in someone’s lap.
Because it’s a great icebreaker and networking opportunity.
5. Don’t fret over not having “buying power.”
Because you can still influence or impress bosses back home with what you learn on the exhibit floor.
6. Don’t schedule a two-hour time slot to explore the exhibits.
Because a shorter, hit-and-run approach keeps you focused and more efficient.
7. Don’t join the New Members Round Table unless you want a committee appointment.
Because NMRT guarantees you a committee appointment.
8. Don’t spend all your money traveling to conferences.
Because many committees work 100% virtually.
9. Don’t think participating in ALA means you’ll be a chair or president in six months.
Because you probably won’t, and it’s best to engage at a pace you’re comfortable with.
10. Don’t drink all the alcohol.
Because a hangover at conference isn’t good. (But drink some of the alcohol.)
All photos free to use via Pixabay.com except photo corresponding to #4, which is courtesy of Flickr user Greg Riegler.
T. J. SZAFRANSKI is the virtual services librarian at Lake Villa (Ill.) District Library. He tumbles @ANotionDeepInside where he shares some library thoughts and a lot of Bruce Springsteen thoughts.
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