ALA Annual

This past weekend I had the amazing experience of attending the ALA Annual Conference. While the conference itself was absolutely overwhelming, I still had an excellent time. I had the opportunity to attend some really fun programs and I got more free stuff than I could fit in the extra suitcase I brought for the trip home. One of the interesting things I noticed at the programs I attended was that the things they were saying are exactly what I have been hearing throughout my time at library school.

The big theme in so many of the programs was using technology. Our patrons are using it, so why shouldn’t we be? In the program “Using Technology to Market to Young Adults,” however an interesting point was made by one of the speakers, Kimberly Bolan. She said that not all teens are using technology. I know its shocking, take minute if you need it before continuing to read. But when you think about it, it really makes sense. She told the story of one of her brilliant marketing ideas to send text messages to teens about library programs, however when she investigated the idea she found that text messaging was not a preferred means to communicate with the teens because many of them are not allowed to text.

We’ve all been through this program with the idea of using technology to reach our users being drilled into our heads, but sometimes I think it’s important for us to take a step back and remember that there are people and even teens that aren’t constantly plugged in. And while these ideas of using technology to reach our users is a great idea it’s still important to remember the old fashioned ways of marketing our services. Kimberly’s presentation gave some great information about marketing to teens, and she posted the presentation on her blog!

In a final thought, I highly recommend that anyone who has a chance to attend ALA in the future jump at it. I think it really puts librarianship into a whole new perspective, especially if you’re new to the profession.

4 responses to “ALA Annual

  1. Hey PCL
    I would agree with you, it really was an amazing conference, and I too would highly recommend all librarians attend at least one ALA Annual conference during their career.

    The session on “Using Technology to Market to Young Adults,” was very interesting. My key learning from her portion of the session was that we as librarian really need to listen to the need of the population that we serve. That said we also need to recognize that not all teens may be using technology as much as we think they are. For me that signals an opportunity for libraries to introduce programs to help teens to build their technology and information literacy skills. As it would seem that society’s dependence on technology is only going to increase over time.

    In true library tradition librarians should lead the way to help all of our patrons to develop the skills that will enable them to be successful in later life; this includes reading skill as well as basic technology skills. I hope that Kimberly Bolan’s comment that “that not all teens are using technology” does not become an excuse for some librarians not to integrate technology into their programming.

  2. karenlis753

    Thanks for sharing the link to Kimberly Bolan’s blog! I really liked seeing the slides from her presentation. Based on what I saw, it was a very interesting and informative session–you are right to encourage others to attend ALA Annual Conference in the future. I especially appreciated seeing the feedback from teens…don’t do cheesy and we like humor in advertising…are good tips to remember. The suggestion of getting teens involved in contributing was excellent as well.

  3. Hi Pop Culture Librarian. It sounded like quite an experience to go to the ALA conference. I have a friend at work who works for a publisher who went as well. She was excited to meet Judy Blume. She said that much of the time she unfortunately had to work.
    Interesting point about kids and technology. I think it’s true that we have to remind ourselves that high technology is not always the best method to reach students.

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