What Your Colleagues Say

The dozens of comments below are from your colleagues.  Get their take on the professional and personal benefits of attending ALA conferences!

“Go. Experience. Learn.”-- Scott Warren, Syracuse University Library

“Come for the learning. Stay for the friends. ALA is the place to build your professional network.” --Erin Dorney, Millersville University Library

“. . . Librarian Heaven. It's been three weeks and I still haven't come back to Earth.”--Carin O'Connor Honan, Allston Branch, Boston Public Library

“For overseas Librarians, one of the best conferences to upgrade your professional skills, learn the latest about what is happening in the library field.”-- Anita, American Embassy School, New Delhi


What you bring back.

Valuable tools for transformation, amazing ideas, inspiration, contacts

  • Amazing ideas are born when librarians get together.
  • One good idea can easily pay for the expense of participation. An idea can come from anywhere, a program, vendor, or colleague.
  • You cannot find as much information in one place anywhere else.
  • Adds value to your professional practices.
  • ALA gives us all an opportunity to learn from each other how to bring the best and most innovative solutions to our field.
  • A place to see and meet people who can move your library forward.
  • It is a professional "must." It’s an opportunity to get new ideas and training, to network with your peers, and to visit current and potential vendors in person. It is the most effective way to stay up-to-date in the library profession!
  • Plenty of usable programming ideas.
  • This is the place for new technologies and innovative and creative ideas.
  • The most important conference for networking and identifying trends in products and services geared for the library market.
  • View best practices in action!
  • A great way to see the latest trends in the profession, to network with colleague and vendors, and to see what coming down the tracks.
  • Exhibits are great for me in my role as acquisitions librarian.
  • There's a lot of information that one simply can't get from a brochure or online ad.


Why you attend.

From awesomeness ... to "more fun than a barrel of monkeys"

  • ALA is the place where things happen.
  • Reinvigorates your passion for the job, and re-inspires you to be a better librarian.
  • Pure awesomeness.
  • More fun than a barrel of monkeys; the networking opportunities are great; the exhibit floor is overwhelmingly swell.
  • Exhilarating, educational, and inspirational.
  • Rejuvenating for the librarian's soul!
  • Cannot be surpassed for networking, continuing professional development, and generating enthusiasm for the work of librarians. I always come away reenergized and inspired.
  • An experience that can only add to your job advancement.
  • The place to meet and work with those who believe in what you believe in.
  • Do the social things. No matter how tired it makes you.
  • Everybody's there.
  • It's our Superbowl.
  • The ALA Annual Conference provides networking opportunities that far surpass any other library event! 
  • The whole experience is re-energizing and frankly a lot of fun.
  • You get to schmooze with colleagues from all over the country, and sometimes run into people who you haven't seen in years. Better than Facebook!
  • I had a job interview in the placement center that has progressed now to a third interview.


What you get out of the exhibits.

A panorama of the new and exciting

  • I wore my shoes out but I won a Kindle!
  • The exhibit hall is beyond imagination.
  • Vendors are awesome.
  • Greatest show on Earth for book lovers.
  • The exhibit hall is such a learning experience--and fun!
  • Go to the exhibits! So fun!
  • The exhibits alone make it worthwhile.
  • You could spend a week in the Exhibits and not see everything that is there!
  • The exhibit floor is overwhelmingly swell.
  • Good face time with the vendors.
  • Each year the exhibitions area improves and deserves time for browsing and talking to vendors.
  • One of the best parts of ALA, every time.
  • The diversity of exhibitors is wonderful and the exhibits are very well arranged.
  • Best exhibit I've ever been to.
  • Wonderful. Found many contacts. Was able to have real discussions with vendors.


Why the boss likes staff to attend.

Educational, invaluable, best practices, usable ideas in a rapidly changing field

  • The best and most useful staff development tool money can buy.
  • The opportunities for continued education, networking, sharing of best practices, and finding new products is unmatched!
  • Plenty of usable programming ideas.
  • I need the librarians who work for me to get involved with ALA for their own career development.
  • I paid for students to attend because it is essential that they learn to network, to talk to vendors, and to appreciate the enormous numbers of people who are part of our profession.
  • It is an essential component to doing our job right. We need to stay abreast of the constantly changing landscape we work and live in. The networking factor is invaluable when you attend, and get involved in, committee work or just sit in on committee meetings, especially for new librarians. The exhibits are always interesting and fun to attend. They are a form of professional development also, as I learn a lot from the vendors that I contact if I want to be "tuned up" on emerging technology or the newest widget in the tool box.
  • A wonderful source for new ideas from both programs and colleagues. It's a great way to avoid career burnout for those who have been in the profession for a while and career advancement for those newer to libraries.