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Monday, July 23, 2007

American Library Association (ALA) - Hot and Sweating in DC…

The ALA Annual Conference was held in Washington DC this last June 21-27th. While the bulk of meetings, panels and workshop (plus the exhibit hall) were at the Washington Convention Center, there were several hotels (and not all too close) that were also in the programming and connected via convention shuttle buses (routes 1-7). In other words it was HUGE€! Author and radio personality Garrison Keillor, who stated that "libraries are the best counter terrorism tool we have," brought to a close the largest conference in the history of the association. More than 28,635 librarians, exhibitors and library supporters attended the 128th ALA Annual Conference. As part of the Emerging Leaders program, I attended their Friday all day session which concluded in our project team poster presentations and a reception. My Project Q Team had the honor to work with the incoming ALA President, Loriene Roy as our mentor. Our National Library Camp feasibility study project was well received and many poster session attendees were enthusiastic about seeing it becoming a reality. As an At-Large Board of Director for the Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association, I attended their board meeting, book awards session, dinner social and open general meeting. I was also on a panel speaker for the APALA presentation on "Asian American Materials: Preserving Our Histories and Moving into the Future€". As the volunteer webmaster for the Filipino American Library in LA Historic Filipinotown, I was also selected to be part of the ALA Diversity Fair Poster Session that had over 600 visitors. At an OCLC President Luncheon I met librarians and directors from across the nation and listened to the outgoing President's jokes about his experience being the first non- American head of OCLC (he is Canadian).

When I got to the Julie Andrews talk (15 minutes early), the hall was already full, so many of us could only listen to her remarks in the spill over hall way with speakers. Overall the Conference was a great experience for me. As I learned, I met many librarians from difference areas, networked and made new friends in the profession. Perhaps the most important to me were the new steering committee of the Joint Conference of Librarians of Color (JCLC) who were selected by their respective Ethnic Caucuses to plan the next JCLC (perhaps in the next 3-5 years). As one of the two representatives from APALA, I will be involved in phone conference calls, Instant Messaging (IM) chat sessions, as well as "normal"€ face to face meetings with the other 9 that constitute the "JCLC 2" steering committee. Although not all were present for our first initial meeting last Friday June 22, the camaraderie we shared towards our task was quite apparent. I look forward to attending more ALA events and recommend others to attend the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in nearby Anaheim, CA (across the street from Disneyland).

As a side note the weather in DC was OK the first few days (hot but lower humidity) but the morning and early afternoon of the day I left was my only opportunity to see the sights and it was HOT. It was my first time to DC and even wearing shorts, T-shirt and slippers, as I walked to only a few of the monuments and museums (including the Library of Congress (LOC)), I found myself dripping all along the way!!!

See my photos (including me sweating while visitng the Library of Congress - Asian Division)

http://www.pixagogo.com/6930544136 (Asian/Pacific Amer. Librarians Assoc.)

http://www.pixagogo.com/7930544812 (ALA Emerging Leaders)

http://www.pixagogo.com/4935544243 (ALA President Lorien Roy's Inagural Ball)

Special thanks to my Falls Church, VA friends Phil and Sheila Tabag-Napala for making my stay in DC a great memory... Phil has his Koi Photo on public display near the DC Convention Center - I've included them in my photos too - He does really nice work!!! I'll have to see if he's willing to donate a print for our Fil-Am Library GALA Silent Auction!!!

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