For the last week and a bit I've been filling my head with all sorts of wonderful things at the ALA Conference in New Orleans. The people that I met there, the talks and programs that I attended and the inspiring things that I heard have made me feel revived. I really can't explain just how incredible it was. Though I had to pay for the flights and the conference myself I would say that apart from my MSc, it was the best investment that I've ever made. In three days I learnt more than I have in the last two years of training courses with CILIP.
When it comes to our profession, the ALA is definitely where it's at. I have never met people like the members of the ALA that I met in New Orleans. The USA is experiencing the same cut backs, layoffs and closures as us but they are fighting as a whole, with the ALA leading the charge to show people and the government just how important Libraries and Librarians are to society. The Librarians that I met were far from gloomy about the future. Granted things are bad but they all have hope that things will get better. For the first time in a long time I felt like I had hope again. CILIP could learn a lot from what they are doing in the USA.
I'm still reeling from information overload but once I've had time to sit down and debrief I will write more. I've got all sorts of ideas for new things to do at work and ways to improve my library.
To the ALA - thank you. I feel like a new Librarian :)