The past couple of days, I have been lucky enough to attend the 2013 OLA/WLA Library Conference in Vancouver, WA. The weather has been gorgeous, and the sessions I attended were excellent. But the highlights for me were the two breakfasts and the dinner I attended. I was able to sit pretty close to the front, so I could both see and hear well.
Thursday morning's keynote speaker was the famous Librarian in Black, Sarah Houghton. Hooray! If you've not read her blog, you can check it out here. She was funny and full of useful, practical advice about how to maintain and improve library service with little to no money (i.e. in the era of dwindling budgets).
Thursday's dinner featured guest speaker Gene Ambaum from the fabulous library-world comic strip Unshelved. Hilarious as always! His talk focused on ways to deal with the more...er...challenging of our library patrons. You know--the ones for whom we create code names or at least nicknames. We all love working in libraries, but there are days when you just want to hide out in a back room. Or say the things he puts in the comic strips which would get you fired in real life.
And finally, Friday's CAYAS-sponsored breakfast featured the children's picture book author George Shannon. Another local Pacific NW author and librarian! He cracked me up as well, and I loved that he talked about the connections we make as librarians with the people we introduce to books, information, and ideas. Plus, he read from his book White is for Blueberry and when we had a little time left over, he shared his brand new book, Turkey Tot, for which he'd just received the galleys.