Monday, March 31, 2014
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Following its extremely successful annual conference in 1893 at the Chicago World's Fair the American Library Association met in 1894 at Lake Placid, New York. Melvil Dewey had pushed to hold the conference in this resort community located in the lake country of the Adirondack mountains. He had an ulterior motive for doing so. Dewey and his wife Annie had purchased land in the area with the intent of creating a private retreat for librarians and other professionals. The ALA conference was a perfect opportunity for showcasing the beauty of the area. The Library Journal for October, 1894 reported that "The meeting of the A.L.A. at Lake Placid will be remembered as one of the best ever held." There were 205 registered attendees with a little more than half being women. Attendees were from 18 states and Canada. The Library Journal report indicated that sessions were divided between the Grand View and Mirror Lake hotels and that the two hotels "vied with each other in making their guests comfortable and more". Melvil and Annie Dewey did succeed in creating their Lake Placid resort for professionals which I wrote about here and here. The ribbon to the left is part of my collection of ALA librariana.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
One of the readers of this blog suggested that I do a post on the 1973 American Library Association Conference in Las Vegas since it will be meeting there again this Summer after a 41 year hiatus. Thanks Elisa. I thought it was a great idea especially since I was one of the 8,539 individuals who attended that conference. The 1973 ALA conference was held June 24-30, and the theme was "People: Their Needs - Our Responsibilities". A preliminary conference program gushed: "Three and one-half miles of incredibly colorful marquees, flashing, plunging, zooming - luxurious hotels, fascinating casinos that never close, lavish showrooms and superstar entertainment, excellent meeting facilities, and a profusion of good restaurants with offerings to suit every taste at reasonable prices. All of this, and more, is the heady excitement of the Las Vegas Strip - scene of the 92nd ALA conference. It promises to be an unforgettable and memorable experience!". It was definitely an unforgettable experience for many who attended the conference during the hottest period in Las Vegas in 1973. The temperature on June 28 was 113 degrees F. It was the heat that brought about such heavy criticism from attendees that ALA hasn't gone back in 41 years. Back then, many of the conference hotels were long distances from each other and some librarians made the mistake of trying to hoof it between them ending up with scorched feet. Personally, I enjoyed the conference. At that time I was active in the Junior Members Round Table and helped organize and staff JMRT's booth in the exhibits. I was rather proud of a home made roulette wheel that I put together. The famous public relations guru Fred Glazer was the incoming chair of JMRT and also helped with the booth. Of course, with the unbelievable development in Las Vegas since 1973, the 2014 conference should be unforgettable for many reasons other than the heat. I will hate to miss it.