ALA tip

If any of you impoverished public librarians out there want to attend the American Library Association conference this year but need a slick way to get work to pay for it, here’s a tip. Schedule your departure for the day after the conference ends. Pack large, empty suitcases. Lurk around the publishers’ booths on the last day and collect the free and insanely discounted display books that the publishing representatives don’t want to haul home. Especially keep an eye on the DK booth and the fabulous Tenspeed Press. If you do it right, the money you spend on travel expenses will roughly equal the amount of schwag you bring home.

I won’t be attending ALA this year, having defected for South by Southwest Interactive where they have panels on subjects I care about, and the nightlife is an order of magnitude less lame.

7 Replies to “ALA tip”

  1. hullo! i will come visit you in ithaca. we can go to the Famous Vegetarian Restaurant while i’m there. i can look at waterfalls and maybe buy one of those “Ithaca is gorges” bumperstickers. i’ll have such East Coast cred!

    also you should come visit me in eugene oregon. we have really huge mountains!

  2. Erica —

    I may be a little bit out of the loop, but I just found out that the ALA now has a “Paraprofessional” category for membership. On my next paycheck (or 2), I will be a card-carying member! (Though alas… I’ll be missing Chi-Town this year) :-D

    Last time we spoke you were still @ Michigan. Been a lot going on since then, but still in DC plugging away…

    Feel free to visit the Soundtrack of Our Lives” anytime!


  3. I didn’t know YOU were going Eliz! – I’m referring of course to the lousy ALA parties. Compared to the strippers and salsa music at SXSWi, the fifteen or so librarians hanging around the triple-I party sucking on beers was kinda underwhelming.

    Dude, you should come visit us in Ithaca. We’ve got waterfalls.

  4. erm, HELLO….lame nightlife in CHICAGO?! me thinks not! especially since ALA coincides with Pride. booyah!

    sigh. i’m sad that you won’t be at ALA.

  5. After only one ALA as a grown-up publisher with a booth, I understand why we are happy for you to take books away cheap. Books–especially reference–are so very very heavy! I did the CHI 2005 conference hauling books and brochures in my suitcase: never again! (Come by our booth in Chicago to pick up your free “Librarian, n. An expert in human-computer interaction.” buttons.)

  6. Ah yes, I have been a lucky lifelong recipient of such freebies, as my mother and sister are perennially at ALA (or ABA, or BEA, or AATE, or any number of other book related acronyms…) the best find yet along those lines are my prized 2 volumes of Walker’s Mammals of the World.

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