Sunday, July 5, 2009

Countdown to ALA Chicago

Next weekend (July 11-12) I will be in Chicago for the Annual Conference of the American Library Association. I'm looking forward to the conference with great anticipation. This will be the 34th annual conference that I have attended in my 40 years of continuous membership in ALA. My first conference was the 1969 conference in Atlantic City, NJ. This will also be the 9th annual conference I have attended in Chicago. I am especially pleased to be able to attend this conference since it will mark the 100th anniversary of ALA's headquarters being located in the City of Chicago. The most momentous annual conference that I attended in Chicago was the Centennial Conference in 1976.

This year I am looking forward to the activities of the Library History Round Table. Of special interest is the "New Perspectives in American Library History" program that will take place on July 12 at 1:30 p.m. in McCormick Place West Room W-192b. It will feature several outstanding library historians. There will be a library history exhibit "Art and Architecture in Illinois Libraries" in the McCormick West Convention Hall. The exact location of the exhibit is not finalized. It may be on Level One near the transportation center or on Level Three by the Auditorium. Kudos to Allen Lanham of Eastern Illinois University and others who developed this traveling exhibit. While in Chicago I plan to visit the Chicago Cultural Center, former Central Library of the Chicago Public Library, to view the recently restored dome of the building which features Tiffany glass. I would like to make it to the Newberry Library on this trip to see their Rudolph's Continuous Indexer. Tours of the Library are scheduled on Saturday's at 10:30 a.m. Of course, I plan to visit the most extensive library vendor exhibits in the world, and the social highlight will be the big Scholarship Bash at the Chicago Art Institute on Saturday evening. And most of all, I'm hoping to see old friends who have traveled part of this 40 year ALA journey with me.

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