'One of the best ways to stay fresh in our profession': What attendees said about ALA Annual

For Immediate Release
Tue, 09/04/2012


Mary Mackay

Director, Marketing

American Library Association

800-545-2433 ext.1532


CHICAGO —“One of the best ways to stay fresh in our profession."

So says one of the thousands of Annual Conference attendees who took the time to give us their feedback about 2012 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim in the post-conference survey.

From among the survey respondents, three were picked at random to receive $100 gift certificates—Emily Hamstra (University of Michigan Library), Nelo Moa (Dallas Public Library) and Mary Beth Roche (Lackawanna College Seeley Memorial Library). “The ALA Annual experience . . . is a great way to network with other library professionals, understand what other library systems are doing and gather useful information from the ALA workshops,” said Moa on learning of his win. And Roche said she’d completed the survey because “it is important to let associations know what works and what does not. I am planning to use the gift certificate to buy a few more READ posters for the library.” Hamstra, whose job title is learning librarian, was sponsored by RUSA to attend as part of the ALA Emerging Leaders Program.

Attendee responses offer ALA critical input to ensure that the conferences continue to meet professional and personal goals and improve year over year. Responses covered the conference content, opportunities for professional development and logistics, as well as the fun events, and provided numerical as well as narrative feedback. Keeping up with the profession remains the No. 1 factor in attendees’ decision to attend, with continuing professional education, networking (especially informal connections with colleagues), the exhibits and program content also ranking high. Committee participation is an important factor for a subset of attendees. 

Along with the usual programs, special events, award ceremonies, networking and exhibits, attendees appreciated the addition of more interactive sessions with opportunities for unstructured conversations than in the past. Key issues covered at 2012 ALA Annual Conference included digital content and e-books, technology in libraries, innovation, books and authors, leadership, library advocacy, civic engagement and library marketing, among others.

For attendees looking for conference program handouts and slides, those that are available are in the Annual Scheduler. You can also go back to the Annual Scheduler and check off which sessions you attended in order to keep a permanent record for yourself or print a report.

Dates for 2013 ALA conferences to note now:

Jan. 25-29, 2013: ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits, Seattle

June 27-July 2, 2013: ALA Annual Conference, Chicago


Sept. 10, 2012: Bundle Registration for 2013 Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference opens

Sept. 30, 2012: Bundle Registration closes

Oct. 1, 2012: Midwinter-only registration opens

Jan. 14, 2013: Annual Conference-only registration opens


You can use these resources to help you make your case for attending an ALA conference. 


“The conversation starts here . . .” in Seattle in January and continues as we work on Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves in Chicago in June.