Good things about going to ALA Annual this year (partial):
- Another chance to see people I only see twice a year–and a few I’ve never met face-to-face before.
- Some good conversations about possible personal futures. (Nothing solid yet; there’s one big contracting situation that I think would be a real win_win situation, but no decision’s been made yet. As a result, I’m still open to contacts and offers.)
- Much better weather than expected–in DC, that is.
- The exhibits felt a little more varied and interesting than in some other cases (and better attended).
- The distances were such that this was mostly a walking conference for me (during the day, I’ll typically prefer walking for up to 1.5 miles), which is always a good thing.
- Great LISHost dinner, great OCLC Bloggers Salon, I was very pleased with LITA TopTechTrends, the other program I attended (!), on orphan works, was first-rate.
- My earlier decision not to base essays or commentary on “second-hand conference reporting” was confirmed by reading reports on my own TopTechTrends comments: Some big differences between what I believe I said and the spins put on it by various writers.
Not-so-good things about going to ALA Annual this year:
- Missing six days of Blenheim apricots at the peak of ripeness: Our tree yielded a large number of small (unfortunately) apricots, nearly all of which were ready to pick during the same week. My wife gave away scores of them, and based on what I’m eating now, I could have had six or eight a day of the kind of fruit that inspires passionate writing; Blenheims are simply magnificent.
- Missing six days of being at home, my wife, our cats, writing, etc…but that’s a direct tradeoff with getting (back) in touch with lots of other people.
- The prices, especially for breakfast and a glass of wine here and there…
- Having to spend time thinking about my personal future in terms of income rather than in terms of possibilities for extracurricular stuff.
- The journey back home (already discussed), although it clearly wasn’t as bad as some others endured. Still, it took me until Saturday to fully recover from the process.
Next up: Philly in January. All my Pennsylvania friends assure me that the frigid conditions last time around were an aberration. I’m not sure. Will I be there? That depends in part on how things go with the search for a personal future…
For those who care, I think all I have to say about the job situation appears here. I hope the one “majority of time” contracting possibility works out; it’s one where I think I’d bring a lot to the work–and it’s work with a group I respect. But it’s just not feasible to stop looking elsewhere, given the uncertain nature of when (and whether) a decision will be made… Otherwise, some interesting discussions about piecemeal possibilities–training, teaching, and exploring the kinds of things I’m good at and that are in demand.
As for my Twitter experiment: That’s already been covered. I’m still being “friended” by new people. But, account or no account, I’m just not there.