It’s the difference between a huge concert at a corporate-sponsored arena and a show at the local bar— the scale and scope of ALA Annual and CLA Annual offer different opportunities. What I love about CLA is the feeling of being able to reach out and make things happen—just like at that local bar, where you’re face to face with the performer.
Speaking of face to face, I love that everywhere I go during the CLA conference, I see people I know; and that every time I attend, I meet new people. The feeling of community at this conference is what hooked me from the beginning, and a part of what keeps me coming back.
This year, I’m both curious and excited to see what a 24 hour conference will be like. If you haven’t seen the CLA After Dark Tumblr, it’s definitely worth a look: http://claafterdark.tumblr.com/. On top of the usual line-up of amazingness that’s happening in California libraries, general hilarity of Battledecks, and epic EveryLibrary party; there will be a cat video film festival, a breakfast burrito bar, and late night hijinks. As if all that is not enough, Pasadena Public Library is hosting a not-to-be-missed party on Saturday night, and the speaker program is, well, amazing: http://conference.cla-net.org/2015/program/featured-speakers/.
ALA Annual has rock stars like Gloria Steinem, Nick Offerman; CLA has Daniel Handler, Henry Rollins. I enjoyed a Corona handed to me in the exhibit hall at ALA this year, but what I’m really looking forward to is Derek Wolfgram’s homebrew at CLA. CLA Annual, like ALA, always leaves me feeling refreshed, inspired, excited. I come home with a bag of new tricks, tools, and links to explore and share. Despite an inevitable lack of sleep this year, I expect that CLA Annual will be every bit the recharge it always is—if not more.
Sonoma County Library
CLA Board Member