I was trying to explain the ALA conference to some friends last night. As Dick has already pointed out, it’s a huge show. I think he may have underestimated the number of people here in Chicago for the conference. An ALA press release puts the number at “more than 25,000 library leaders and library supporters.”
In explaining ALA, it’s necessary to note the alphabet soup of acronyms. It’s tellling that the preliminary program has 2 entire pages devoted to explaining the acronyms. ALA is an association, but it’s also a conglomeration of smaller associations, which are also known as Divisions. Open the ALA association box and see more associations. There’s LITA (Library and Information Technology Association), ALCTS (Association for Library Collections and Technical Services), RUSA (Reference and User Services Association), and more. Each of these associations has its own program during the conference and its own Division Presidents’ Program. I mentioned LITA’s in a previous post. The other one that looks interesting is “Who Owns Antiquity? Museums and the Battle over Our Ancient Heritage,” which is ALCTS’ program on Monday morning.
Then there are Round Tables and Sections presenting programs. There’s a conference within a conference for library support staff, the empowerment conference called “Who’s Da Boss.” Whew!
I’ve barely gotten started and I’m feeling tired!
Marydee Ojala, Editor, ONLINE: Exploring Technology & Resources for Information Professionals