I just returned from the 2014 American Library Association (ALA) Student-to-Staff (S2S) Program at the Annual Conference in Las Vegas. The S2S program gave me an opportunity to work with the ALA’s International Relations Office (IRO). The S2S program requires a lot of energy and a “can do” customer service attitude. I was assigned to the IRO Registration area, where I helped international librarians register for the conference. I also worked in the IRO Visitor Center and distributed conference resources to the international registrants. I enjoy helping others, so my IRO assignment was a pleasure to perform.
The conference was jam-packed with events for every type of librarian and paraprofessional. The main conference sessions and exhibits were a buzz with the glitz and showmanship for which Vegas is known. I could not have imagined there would be 700+ exhibitors on hand including book vendors of all types, not to mention software and furniture retailers, and LIS graduate schools. There were so many exhibits to visit and Elvis had not left the building when I arrived, so I took a picture with him. Plus, I unexpectedly connected with a few colleagues in the exhibit hall.
Our own WSU SLIS graduate program was on hand displaying our program materials. Networking was the biggest perk of the 2014 S2S and Annual Conference. There was an Alumni Reunion sponsored by the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE), and they also provided a shared booth for the LIS graduate schools that were exhibiting. I got a chance to meet some WSU alumni who graduated in 2003 and 2009. They shared some of their experiences finding their first job after graduate school, along with their progression in the profession. This event also gave me an opportunity to meet and chat with our WSU SLIS Associate Dean, our Academic Advisor and a previous ALA@Wayne colleague at the reunion. These are the types of social interactions and experiences that conferences support. As a distance student, I would not have met my WSU and other future LIS colleagues, without my attendance and participation at this year’s ALA S2S program.
Check out the other experiences I gained through the 2014 ALA S2S program at the Annual Conference on the SLIS blog.