It's not all fun and games at ALA--for example, this morning I am eating my first ever Egg McMuffin after discovering McDonald's was the only place open to get breakfast at the Convention Center. (It's actually not horrific). And I am suffering from "convention shoulder," which is caused by lugging heavy bags of free books.
But after hours it is fun and games here! Saturday night several of us went to a special performance of the famed Second City comedy troupe, in a special performance for librarians. They worked in great bits about budget cuts and crazy patrons, and you could hear Valerie Diggs laughing from a block away. The program was put on as a scholarship fundraiser sponsored by ProQuest, and funds are designated for students in library school programs (YAY).
Last night Kathy Lowe, Amy Short, Sharon Hamer and I were invited to a party at the world headquarters of Encyclopedia Britannica (our new Massachusetts encyclopedia on our state database!). We got a tour of their base of operations led by a man named Ted who is apparently the historian of the Encyclopedia Britannica and a man you'd want by your side at a trivia contest. I had no idea that Britannica had been published in the US continuously since the 1700s. We also connected with the California and Colorado school library association members and got heartening news about how their strong advocacy efforts are beginning to pay off (in Colorado they're getting money, in California they just aren't laying off as many librarians as in the past--everything seems to be relative in libraries). We got back to our hotel in time to see lots of splendidly-dressed people leaving the Caldecott-Newbery banquet and from reports in the ladies' room, that was just wonderful too.