Friday, June 25, 2010

ALA Friday Update

Welcome to Day 2 of my ALA adventure. This morning began with a couple hours of work checking in registered attendees for the Reference Preconference. The check-in went smoothly and soon I was ready to be a tourist for awhile. Friday is a slow day for sessions (mostly preconferences) so I had some free time to see the sights. I ventured onto the Metro to take a trip to the Library of Congress. The building is gorgeous, inside and out. A peek into the Main Reading Room made me a bit jealous of those that get to work and research there. Several exhibits including Thomas Jefferson's library were on display and were fascinating. After the LOC I walked to the Capital Building which towers over all who lay eyes on it. Next stop on my tour was the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History where I saw many fantastic exhibits including the Hope Diamond and dinosaur bones. One could spend hours and hours here, but alas I had to head back to the convention center for my only session of the day.

I don't think I mentioned earlier, but this is my first ALA conference. This afternoon there were several session options for newbies to get acquainted with ALA and the conference itself. I chose to attend the Intellectual Freedom (IF) 101 session. This session was a great way to learn a bit more about what the Office of Intellectual Freedom(OIF) has to offer. There were speakers from the Intellectual Freedom Committee, the Freedom to Read Foundation (separate from ALA), Intellectual Freedom Roundtable, the Merritt Fund (separate from ALA), the Committee on Professional Ethics, and the Privacy Subcomittee. Each presenter gave a quick overview of what their area of IF does and websites for each can be found at:

The final speaker gave us 11 things to do to support Intellectual Freedom, which I thought I'd share with you:
1) Join the Intellectual Freedom Round Table
2) Celebrate Banned Books Week in your community
3) Subscribe to OIF email list
4) Follow OIF on Twitter
5) Get the Library Bill of Rights tattooed on your back (yep)
6) Attend at least one IF program at the conference
7) Watch "Choose Privacy Week" video on website
8) "like" or "fan" all of the IF Facebook pages
9) Buy jewelry from booth #2535 at conference - 60% of proceeds go to FTRF
10) Read OIF Blog
11) Talk about IF!!!

Tomorrow I have a free day from work and plan to attend a few session and check out the exhibit hall or "The Stacks."


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