Library conferences are cool–no matter what you hear

I love library conferences. I know you are picturing a bunch of old ladies in sweaters and although the sweater-wearing old ladies do have a presence, it is a lot cooler than you may think. There are good friends, good food, free stuff, contests and famous people. Sounds great, right?

Being a librarian is a tough job. There are lots of easy things about it (I’m not going to lie) but one of the hardest things about it is that you are the only one in your school who understands all that you do. I am very lucky to have great librarians in my school district but I’m the only one who deals with libraries and middle schools in my district. That’s one of the great things about library conference. I have friends there that I only see once or twice a year. They get it. They understand what my life is like every day at work. They make me thankful for the district I am in when they tell me horror stories of what goes on in their schools and they give me great ideas on how they have successfully solved the problems that perplex me. I love seeing old friends and meeting new friends every year.

When I go to library conference, I get to be a grownup. I get to eat meals without wrestling any little boys or making sure no one at my table screams. The food is usually good and its at least something different than what I usually have at home.

Free stuff! Vendors come to the library conference and yes, I understand they just want to call next week and try to sell me something but it’s so enticing. They have bowls of chocolate and they give away prizes. I’ll sign up for anything if I have a chance go win something…

Every year I buy raffles tickets for Dollars for Scholars. This is a great variety of baskets that I could win. All I have to do is buy tickets and get my name drawn. In 11 years, I have never won and I didn’t win this year but I won’t give up.

Famous people!! Okay so maybe you have never heard of the people that I get to meet but to me they are famous and I get excited about it. In the past I have got to meet Susan Beth Pfeffer, Heather Brewer, and Mary Downing Hahn, just to name a few.

This year I have met some famous people. Pete Thomas, from Biggest Loser, was one of our keynote speakers. Picture this, I had spend Sunday morning getting motivated by Pete on eating healthy. After that session, I had limited time to get several things done because of my committee obligations. I had a few minutes between appointments to grab something quick to eat. Just as I ran to the pizza place to grab something quick, guess who I ran into? Pete! He was on the phone (not eating pizza) but how can you go order a greasy piece of pizza after seeing him? then at dinner, I was very hungry (having not much for lunch) and guess who was right in my line of vision…you guessed it, Pete. Thankfully Pete has left the conference and I enjoyed a piece of Ultimatea Chocolate Cake at lunch.

Last night I got to hang out with Stacy DeKeyser, author of Jumping the Cracks. Our committee sat with her and visited for quite awhile. She’s a pretty great lady! In a few minutes, I get to escort her to an autograph session and hang out with her. I’ll tell my students on Wednesday that she is my friend.

I also got to hear one of my favorite reading advocates speak, Steven Layne. He was very inspiring.

Yesterday the video that my students star in was debuted in the workshop I helped present. It was the most nerve-wracking and exhilarating experience all at once. I am so proud of my kids and I can’t wait to show them the video later this week.

Lots of great things happen at MASL. I miss my lovely family but I get rejuvenated in a way that is greatly needed.

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