Allison’s reading assignments

I love social media, and I love planning. Prepping for ALA has been the best of both worlds, because it’s allowed me to use all of my favorite internet tools to find out as much as I can about ALA before I actually get there. I’ve been following the official hashtag (#ala12), made the twitter handle @librarian_allie so I can aggregate all of the LIS world it seems into one twitter feed (my favorites: @alaannual, @LibraryJournal, @YALSA, and of course, @ALA_JobLIST), and been feverishly stalking and reading any blog that has the following words in it: ALA, Annual Conference, newbie, what to know, tips and advice, first time, planning, library student. While I’m often known as an experiential learner, this doesn’t seem to be the time or place to reinvent the wheel.

And so for your reading pleasure, and mine, a list of blog posts and web pages I’ve found to be incredibly helpful in this run up to my time at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference!

PC Sweeney’s Blog Post On How To Be Awesome At Going to Library Conferences– so useful!

Top Ten Tips by Jo Alcock on

Bobbi Newman’s amazing packing tips on Librarian by Day!

Free Range Librarian 35 conferences worth of tips

How to blog at a conference effectively– I promise to study this one!

Thoughts on using an iPad at a conference– I still can’t decide. I really want my own iPad, and it seems that this would be the perfect excuse to get one!

Another piece on using an iPad

Be Sexier in Person– what a great title

ALA 2012 Coupons– a good way to see what’s going to be hot at ALA

Library Journal’s excellent Guide to ALA

ALA Annual Conference 2009 Wiki– I couldn’t find a more recent one, but this is helpful too! Beware that lots of details that were right for Chicago are NOT the same for Anaheim (ex., I registered way before the advance deadline, but I pick up my badge at the conference).

ALA 2012 Scheduler – this IS the 2012 wiki! It just doesn’t look like one. Go explore it, it’s wonderful!

I’ll continue to add to this as I find new ones!


A Fashionista’s Guide to Conference Wear – I still haven’t decided what I’m wearing! This is where my San Diego self gets really conflicted with my New York City self.

The Introverted Nerd’s Conference Survival – I’m not quite an introvert, but I do appreciate having some space! I should probably plan a little down time or I might hit the roof a time or two.

A Guide from the Digital Shift – combo curated list and advice!



Filed under Pre-conference musings, Thoughts from Allison

5 responses to “Allison’s reading assignments

  1. Great list! JFYI, the conference wikis were incorporated into the Conference Schedulers, and more information was added to the conference websites, so that’s why you couldn’t find one newer than 2009. The last time Annual was in Anaheim was 2008, and that wiki is still live at

    The Annual Scheduler is at, and what’s left of the conference wiki is under “Conference Info” at

    Jenny Levine
    ALA staff

    • Duh, the scheduler! I spent an entire morning playing with that a few weeks ago- great fun. I suppose I didn’t equate it with the wiki because I thought of it more as an organization/planning tool than a reference tool, but it is SO useful, I can’t believe I left it off! On the list it goes.

      Thanks Jenny!

  2. Sab

    Thanks for creating this blog! Are there any plans to attend the ALCTS session on “Transforming Technical Services: Growing IT Skill Sets within Technical Services Departments?” ( I know that many library schools have ramped up on tech-focused courses, some even changing their name to “The iSchool.” I’m an alumnus of Pratt and am curious if they’ve added courses in this area as well. Data Science and Analytics are new, burgeoning disciplines, for which I think librarian skills could certainly play a role.

  3. To my knowledge, there are more “tech” courses at Pratt than there used to be, mainly in the area of information architecture, knowledge visualization, human-information interaction, etc. There also seems to be a course or two per year on programming or building websites (Drupal especially). I haven’t taken any of these myself, as my area of interest seems to be more archives; instead I’ve taken a digital archives class where I’ve heard all of these terms go flying by, so I have a general understanding of them! We also discussed data librarianship some in Dr. Rabina’s reference class- it’s definitely up there in awareness, but I’m not sure if there’s a class for it. In my worldview, it’s one of those things that I know exists, but I wouldn’t be sure how to get into it beyond attending conferences and finding a job that just teaches me how to do it.

    As for the session itself- I have no idea yet! I have two separate lists of when I’ve tried to figure out what sessions I’m going to attend, and each time I end up listing two or three separate ones for the same time block. I might try cloning myself.

  4. Pingback: Allison’s packing list | Pratt Goes to ALA Annual Conference 2012

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