Posted by: Maria | June 29, 2008

ALA 2008: day two

First, some complaints: I am not a fan of Anaheim as a conference location. I was at ALA last year in D.C., where there were lots of hotels in the vicinity of the convention center, and it was all fairly compactly organized, and it didn’t take much more than ten or fifteen minutes to get from place to place. But here in Anaheim? The hotels are too scattered and far away from the convention center. I am not opposed to walking from place to place, but I am opposed to walking a half an hour or more. The shuttles help, some, but not enough. Tomorrow I have a session I want to attend in the Hyatt. I can take a brisk hour-long walk from my hotel–which is one of the conference hotels, by the way–or I can take two shuttles to get there. It seems like it shouldn’t be this hard to get around! The distance and the difficulty of getting places means that I find myself choosing not to go to sessions once I realize where it is and what it will take for me to get there.

There are also problems with labeling and signage and a program map that makes things look much closer together than they actually are. I am a grown adult with advanced degrees, and yet I found it immensely difficult to navigate my way to the Marriott today. Why? I faced similar navigational difficulties when leaving the Disneyland Hotel today. I found myself in a parking lot with no recognizable landmarks or street signs immediately available to help me make my way. If not for the GPS in my phone, I’m pretty sure I would still be wandering around that parking lot right now.

Now that I have registered my complaints, I have some good things to report. The EBSCO academic librarians luncheon was excellent. Not only was the food unexpectedly awesome, but it was also really exciting to learn more about the new EBSCO interface. I was inspired and Had Some Ideas about how to introduce these changes to my user communities. I also enjoyed the ACRL IS orientation session today, where I mingled with people and shook hands and learned more about the committees that govern the IS. I’m glad I went. I am also glad that I went to the REFORMA session I mentioned yesterday. I left with ideas about what my campus might do to assist and support undocumented immigrant students. One of the session speakers said that education is a human right, and I couldn’t agree more.

My enjoyment of the conference so far has been hampered, in part, by the logistical issues I enumerated above. I have a bunch of things on my agenda tomorrow, and I hope that I am able to accomplish at least some of them without developing new blisters on my feet or having another frustrated meltdown where I call Emily on her cell phone and ask her why don’t I know where I am.

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Responses

  1. I totally empathize, I got lost trying to find my hotel last night. My feet may never be the same. Po.

  2. Same here. I decided not to go to some sessions in the Hyatt, simply because it is too far away for my tired feet and brain. Got some much-needed sleep instead.

  3. […] I can see that I’m not alone in my earlier complaints about the unsuitability of Anaheim as a conference location. If I can help it, I will not attend a […]


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