#alaac15 – Day 5 – Tired

30 Jun

I’m writing this Monday night as I sit in my room. When making my travel plans, I had great expectations of finishing my last session today and then going off and being an ordinary tourist In San Francisco. But I am SOOOO tired. I suppose I could try to get my flight changed and arrive home tonight, but I don’t have the energy for it.

I started my day by carrying a backpack + tote bag full of books to the Exhibit Hall where a Post office was set up.


Yes, this conference is so big the USPS sets up a temporary post office! To pack the box and get through the line only took an hour, but there were two charming women from Louisiana in front of me and a verily once woman from the other LA behind me, so we passed the time in delightful conversation.

By the time I got out, I’d missed the first session I’d hoped to attend, but managed to get to the rest. I did two sessions after lunch, ending at 4 o’clock. I got myself a bowl of pho and walked home.

Reflecting on this experience, sitting here in the cool, calm of my room, I have learned some things about attending big conferences like this.

1. Pack as you go. If I’d known how many books I’d be receiving, I would have sent some home before Monday, rather than lugging them back to my room, then back again today. Better to ship just after you reach critical mass.

2. If you plan to do some sightseeing, better to arrive early to the exciting location and leave right when things end. We did this when part of my staff went to St. Louis for a Math conference. You are too tired at the end.

3. Bring business cards. Lots of people were handing them out and I had none.

4. Get you certificate of attendance when you register. I forgot to get mine until later today and when I went, they were all packed up. Now I have no proof of attendance in order to get the conference registration reimbursed.

5. Talk to everyone and anyone. I am an introvert by nature and I often feel uncomfortable talking to people, but I had a great time meeting new people I may never see again.

6. I have to attend the ALA Midwinter meeting in Boston in January. Although booking a room with Airbnb worked really well this time, I will book a room in the hotel nearest the convention center in Boston because I don’t have the clothes for Boston in January.


5 Responses to “#alaac15 – Day 5 – Tired”

  1. Linda Baie June 30, 2015 at 6:41 am #

    Your advice is sound. I found that at NCTE I lugged so many books around, & I wish now I’d mailed daily! I’d love to go to an ALA sometime. It sounds wonderful to meet so many authors.

  2. arjeha June 30, 2015 at 7:28 am #

    When I attend NCTE I am always grateful that there is a UPS station somewhere nearby. It makes things so much easier. You are right, it is better to arrive early and sight-see before the conference. Afterwards you are too tired and your head is spinning from all of the wonderful sessions you attended to do justice to the sights.

  3. Michele Knott June 30, 2015 at 7:44 am #

    ALA is an amazing experience! I live in the Chicago suburbs, so I was able to get down to one day of the exhibit hall before the lovely snowstorm hit.
    Great advice, so true about the crazy amount of books you receive. I’m still reading some of mine from ALA!
    I really believe in the talking to people. It’s crazy what relationships can be formed at a conference!

  4. Stacey Shubitz June 30, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    I’ve been following the ALA Conference in San Francisco a bit on Twitter. It looks/sounds AMAZING. One day I’ll get there. Someday…

  5. Julie July 1, 2015 at 7:49 am #

    It’s so fun to read about your amazing trip! Glad it was a fun, rewarding (if exhausting) adventure!
    Thanks for sharing!

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