UCBA Librarians in the Big Easy

by Michelle McKinney and Kellie Tilton

Michelle McKinney, Reference and Web Services Librarian

After a five year conference break, I was very excited to attend #ALAAC2018 in New Orleans! I spent the majority of the conference working with and for this year’s class of Spectrum Scholars. I had the honor of being named a Spectrum Scholar in 2005 and am currently serving as a member of Spectrum Advisory Committee. This year’s class of scholars networked, attended panels featuring Spectrum Alumni and took part in the greater conference, which included an Opening Session featuring Former First Lady Michelle Obama and Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden.

Spectrum Scholars group photo
         Michelle (front row, second from right) with other scholars awaiting Michelle Obama

I had the chance to reconnect with many colleagues and library friends, including fellow Spectrum Scholars from my class, during the Spectrum Scholars Founders Reception.

Michelle McKinney and three library colleagues
   Michelle and fellow 2005 Spectrum Scholars: Brenda Linares, Nancy Kirkpatrick and Nia Lam

When I wasn’t in sessions or meetings, I wandered around the Exhibit Hall and enjoyed some of the local cuisine, including the required serving of beignets.

Kellie Tilton, Instructional Technologies Librarian

Unfortunately, my #alaa18 trip was way too short. I flew in to attend my last official duty as a member of the Alex Award Committee, which presents an award to 10 books published for adults that has a unique appeal to young adults. (Check them out!) Luckily, the last event is also one of the best, as we honor the award winners with a program and book signing for anyone to attend.

Alex Awards Book Signing

I also was able to visit the exhibit hall to say hello to many vendors and publicists and check out the new products coming to libraries near you!

ALA Conference Decorations

It was awesome to be in New Orleans for its 300th birthday and the best way to celebrate was a late night run to Cafe du Monde for their famous beignets!

NOLA 300th birthday sign

It may have only been about 48 hours, but ALA is always a blast and a reminder how awesome the library profession is!