Tuesday, June 28, 2016

ALA Annual 2016 #ISurvived

I survived Orlando.  In June.  If I believed in Hell, the weather there would match that of Orlando.

I am completely exhausted from having my flight delayed last night.  Because I am old, I am unable to function the next day if I go to bed after midnight.

Recapping the conference would be rather odd because I did a lot of networking and learned how to schmooze, but I will say that all the authors I met were perfectly lovely, and that you absolutely have to pre-order or place a hold on Tom Angleberger and Cece Bell's new book, Inspector Flytrap, and that my librarian friends are awesome and make me feel happy and accepted and loved.

Delayed flights meant that I got through five books that I now need to review, but thankfully, my reviewing mojo has come back with sass and verve.  I have Opinions to share with you.

Librarians are human, and we make mistakes.  After witnessing a few cringeworthy moments, I have three morsels of advice to offer.

  1. Do not go to a panel and when asked for a question, proceed to tell your life story.  If at a diversity panel for We Need Diverse Books, do not get up and, as a white person, talk about how you never saw black people as a kid because there were only Italians and Polish people in your city but now you know about black people thanks to "you people" and then gesture at the POC on the panel.  It's othering and rude and offensive and also not a question.  
  2. Do not desperately flirt with someone on your panel, especially when you know the other person is married.
  3. Do not use your panel as an opportunity to throw one of your coworkers under the bus for being "difficult to work with."  Definitely do not read directly from a confidential analysis made by librarians who were payed to analyze your workflows in order to make a point about this person.  Do not blame people for quitting.  Someone in the audience will know, or know of, the person you're dissing.  This is super unprofessional.
Hopefully, I'll be able to get some reviews in after my old person constitution has recovered from the shock of a late night.

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