Well, I’m back from ALA Annual Conference 2019 in Washington, D.C., and let’s recap my adventure.

Firstly, my haul includes lots of comics and ARCs, many of them signed. You know, typical, ALAAC stuff. Best of all, I also got a LIBRARIAN shirt courtesy of Image Comics, a bracelet made of a discarded book spine, a Lego (I mean, “brick”) card catalog, a tote for all my totes, and much more.

My loving husband and I visited the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Gallery of Art, the Museum of American History, the American Art Museum, and the National Zoo. We played plenty of Pokemon Go and Harry Potter Go, of course.

But what did I learn? Well…

  • Frank Miller is awesome, a totally nice dude, and the new Arthurian YA book by him and Tom Wheeler sounds awesome, with a Netflix series soon to follow. I look forward to reading it.
  • What we consider rude can depend on our socioeconomic upbringing, and, as public servants, librarians should keep that in mind. Just because someone says, “hey” instead of “excuse me” doesn’t necessarily mean the person is trying to be disrespectful.
  • Books on Tape offers an app called Volumes that librarians can use to review audiobooks, like having audio ARCs. Just download the app and contact your Books on Tape rep for reviewer permissions.
  • To boost usage of a particular service, libraries should focus an entire month to marketing that service as though the service were new, annually. For example, spend a month promoting the hell out of Hoopla, instead of trying to promote a little throughout the year, and your Hoopla usage may boost.
  • There are a disturbing number of public librarians who are okay with censorship, as long as it’s right wing censorship and under the subjective category of “hate” (and this is coming from me, a staunch liberal).
  • Hosting funerals in libraries is a thing that happens…
  • Allowing library staff to have a “happy hour,” an hour once a month or once a quarter of paid time featuring activities and games that encourage bonding, can improve morale. A similar hour of reading time can do the same.

So, what did you do and see? What did you learn?