HiJinx at the ALA Conference

by Addison and Simone

The co-hosts of HCLS’ podcast, HiJinx, recall attending the annual American Library Association Conference in June. They had a great time, and hope you enjoy the podcast episode from the convention floor.

Three HCLS staff members in a photo with the Eiffel Tower behind them, says "Greetings from ALA 2022."

FROM ADDISON

I was at the ALA Conference to gather soundbites for the podcast. Coming from a career in the private sector, I could only pull from my recent experience at a smaller conference. I was concerned with capturing enough exciting material to appeal to our podcast’s audience. Nonetheless, I arrived, stepped on the escalator, and descended to the exhibit floor. I glanced out in astonishment. The conference floor was expansive, large enough to fit more commercial airplanes than one could count on their fingers.

ALA provides public, academic, government, and special libraries with programming, tools, and services. The 2022 annual convention was attended by 7,738 librarians, along with 5,431 exhibitors, publishers, and authors. My concern about filling a podcast episode became replaced with where to begin and what to cut.

We began our interviews, and as I’ve become accustomed to in the industry, people were friendly and willing to share their stories. This made the experience feel like we were catching up with old friends and not pointing a recorder at strangers. Before I knew it, it was nearing the end of the exhibit and time to go home to produce the podcast.

When listening to the episode, you will hear author interviews and publishers’ discussions, as well as learn about valuable vendors and services. In addition, you will get a glimpse at the inner working of the library world, one that I am excited to be a part of.

FROM SIMONE

This June when I had the opportunity to go to the ALA Conference, our team was in the company of other library professionals and literary enthusiasts. The event featured guest speakers and authors, exhibits, and vendors.  

As first-timers, it was not easy to imagine the enormity of this conference. By the time we reached the vicinity of the convention center (while circling for good parking in the city on a busy Sunday), the sidewalks were bustling with attendees from all around the country. Buses rolled by wrapped in branding from related literary and tech companies, as increased crossing guards and security manned the busy intersections. So, we were in the right place – check! After making our way to the building, through COVID-19 screening, and check-in, it was time to hit the exhibit floor with our roving podcast.

We were in search of what’s now, new, and next in libraries. Since we met up at the Mango Languages booth – and posed in “Paris” at their green screen photo-op – it was only fitting to begin our interviews right there. HCLS customers have access to this convenient (and highest-rated) language-learning app.  

Next up was a spirited chat with another Library vendor, Hoopla, a media streaming platform and probably one of HCLS’ biggest cheerleaders. We continued to wade through the sea of booths and conduct interviews with an array of vendors, authors, publishers, and a couple of staff members we bumped into along the way.  

To hear directly from these dedicated individuals and organizations who help us bring high-quality education and services to the community, tune into Episode 48 of the HiJinx Podcast and explore the Library’s website for access to each resource.

Happy listening!  

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