Has anyone else noticed an extreme excitement for all things fall this year? I’ve seen Ohioans post and share about rocking their flannel shirts, getting the first pumpkin spice latte of the season and of course watching their favorite college football teams. Oh and the mosquitos will soon be gone. What’s not to love?
Fall also means it’s annual conference time for ALAO: the one gathering where we get together, learn from each other and hear awesome speakers on trending topics. I’m looking forward to attending this year’s preconference and conference in Wilmington, Oct. 27–28, “User Experience: Exceeding Expectations by Design.”
Although the 2016 conference is right around the corner, planning has already begun for next year’s conference at the Nationwide Center in Columbus with a preconference on Oct. 26 and conference on Oct. 27, 2017.
As vice president/president-elect, I’m leading the 2017 conference planning committee (CPC), which comprises ALAO board members and member volunteers. We are just getting started and will be doing a theme brainstorming session in early October.
Upon reaching out to CPC volunteers, I shared with them that I would like to do a theme related to social justice. The phrase “Libraries Respond” is being used now, and I think it’s broad enough in focus. Presentation topics could include information social justice, inclusion on campus, fostering a welcoming culture, etc. I know there’s a lot more out there, too, and I am really interested to hear what the CPC comes up with as our finalized theme.
Planning an ALAO conference means a lot to me. My first involvement with ALAO was answering a call for CPC volunteers by then-vice president Brian Hickam in 2011. I was a new librarian and looking for ways to get involved. At this summer’s ALAO board retreat, I realized many librarians now in ALAO leadership roles also answered that same call, and we all got our start on Brian’s CPC. A whole “generation” of leader librarians involved with ALAO started as CPC volunteers.
After hearing that success story, are you ready to get involved? I invite you to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you’re interested in serving on the CPC. As I mentioned above, we are just getting started. I welcome ALAO members who are interested in the theme and getting involved in a hands-on way.
Happy fall and conference season, ALAO. It’s a busy time, but it’s good to take a break to learn from our library colleagues, discuss the latest trends and challenges, and maybe also treat ourselves to a pumpkin spice latte (or a mosquito-free campfire).