Jan 19, 2010

So, what did you learn?

I thought I'd throw out a few things I learned at ALA Midwinter:

1. Bacon is the gateway meat. Vegetarians, beware!

2. Free wifi sucks. Or my computer does. Actually, my computer speaker really does suck because I tried to watch an online class yesterday and whenever our heater came on (which, I freely admit, sounds like a jet engine and forces us to turn up, say, the TV to volumes suitable only for the landing strip of an aircraft carrier)....where was I? My speakers suck. Can't hear a damn thing without headphones. Free wifi sucks, too, if you're at a convention or the Boston Public Library. But when I tweeted that, someone else at the convention said it worked fine for him, so now I'm wondering if I have that condition where anytime you go near electronics they stop working. Because also my battery died withing three hours, and it's supposed to last over nine. My husband says speakers eat up batteries like candy, but I think it's that magnetic field problem. That's probably why I also lose my watches. They just fly off my arm when I'm not looking because my magnetic field is so crazy strong. That doesn't explain the gloves and the jewelry and the sunglasses, though.

3. Librarians are CRAZY for tote bags. Even I, who stuffs as much as possible in my coat pockets just to avoid carrying a purse, coveted a particularly huge tote bag from McGraw Hill. I filled it with about 1000 lbs. of free books, and now I'm crippled. Everyone was tweeting about this picture of a guy with a tote bag full of tote bags, but the picture is all blurry, so who cares? Plus, a tote bag full of tote bags doesn't weigh 2000 lbs, so I win.

4. This is the low-down on jobs from one vendor: health sciences libraries. 40-60% of those librarians are going to retire in the next five years, he said. And he's scared because those are his clients, and what if the libraries don't bother replacing them? I wanted to smile gently and pat him on the head and say, "There, there. Everyone knows no one is going to retire ever, ever again. Thanks to the imploded economy, the entire workforce will be forced to work until they die of old age, and the rest of us are shit out of luck. So your clientele will be creaking along well into their nineties! You're set for life! In fact, you'll probably die on a sales call, you lucky dog, you!"

5. Boston has a new T line, called the Silver Line, which is a bus connected to an electric cable. I don't know why, but that freaked me out. Maybe because of my crazy magnetic field.

6. Even the most comfortable shoes aren't comfortable after a day at a convention. It probably would've helped if they weren't heels. I mean, they're comfortable and all, but you know....they're heels....I'm a dumbass.

7. Swag is great! But apparently, after a number of conventions you become very selective. Now that I'm permanently crooked from the 5000 lbs of books, I can see why.

8. A dance librarian is a mythical creature. More on that later.

9. Schmoozing isn't so bad, as long as you have Xanax.

Okay, so I'm hoping to find out what everyone else learned because I have the sneaking suspicion I missed something. Like, where were all the Twittering librarians I follow, and why didn't I meet any of them? Is it because they were all on their laptops getting thrown off the network every 30 seconds? Oh, wait - that's just me and my crazy magnetic field.


Chrissy said...

I would like to hear more about dance librarians, please :)

Shander said...

I'm mulling it over, Chrissy, but now you've motivated me to get on it! It's not a pretty picture, though....if they're not mythical, then they're extinct. It's a sad, sad state of affairs.

Amanda Acquard said...

I learned posting on a blog from an iTouch doesn't work well and I should by a netbook. All the actual librarians had a Dell netbook. I wonder if Dell netbooks suck as much as Dell computers used to... I should use my 605 reference skills to figure that out;-)

I also feel they should give away free bookshelves that fold up and fit into the free tote bags so that you have something to hold all the free books you took when you get home.

Anonymous said...

I learned that candy orange slices trigger some unnatural food craving that causes otherwise passersby to not only to stop (multiple times) at a desk to finagle one, but also to justify each unholy sugary slice with an awkward confession of the deep emotional attachments said candy represents.

I also learned that I should be on Xanax to attend these things.


Katy said...

I think you are presenting this dance librarian thing from the wrong angle - Dance Librarians are the Wave of the Future!!! would be much more upbeat. Although maybe that's not your thing.

By the way, what I learned is that if you wait for someone else to go to ALA Midwinter, you get tons of free books and don't have to carry them around and get all bent over and cramped!


Shander said...

Katy - Yeah, I've gotta work on the upbeat thing. But you gave me a great idea for another post: How to convince others to do your work for you! Or: how to become a librarian without really trying. Something like that.....

smhb: Brilliant! (I can't believe I forgot about the nuclear orange slices.)

Amanda: I think you should market the fold-and-carry bookshelves.