As longtime readers know, I usually like to give a report on my ALA experiences, primarily consisting of the best places I've eaten and drunk during the conference, the best place to get a martini, that sort of thing. Unfortunately, I can't do that this time, and not because I didn't have at least one very fine martini and some excellent food along the way. No, it turns out I was a bit more public than I normally am. That might not quite be it. I'm always out in public. Only this time I was at more librarian events where the right people might be able to put two and two together and get the Annoyed Librarian. I wined around a lot of other librarians and met some nice newer librarians who made me feel jaded. These fresh librarians and library school students are just so hopeful. Also, sadly, I'm getting to the point where the neophytes look at me with hungry eyes wondering either how they can displace me or how they can use me to further their careers. It'll never happen. Entrenched privileges are only for the few, and I'll fight for mine like a wild cat. I can say that the booze in Philadelphia seemed very expensive for what I got. My hotel bar, which was exquisite, had very expensive drinks. Keep that in mind whenever you stay in that hotel!
One would like to think that while one is away the rest of the library world would stop. After all, it seems like everyone involved in the greater library blogland area goes to conferences. Maybe it's academic librarians, mostly, though. Consider the comment one of my favorite readers, Anonymous, left this weekend on my last post:
"Just remember, not matter what track you take, if you want to make an impact on libraries you had better go into academia.
They are the only ones who ever get published, the only ones who attend conferences regularly (the rest of us are working), and they are the ones who get appointed to committees.
Just remember the real world of librarianship is an ivory tower that has no relationship to the real world.
Don't believe me, take a look at the blogs and listservs and notice that most are not being updated and there are sparse postings because all the real movers and shakers are at midwinter conferences, sucking down martinis."
Anonymous, you might have something there. There sure do seem to be a lot of academic librarians at these conferences. On my committees I'm surrounded by nothing but academic librarians. It's spooky.
But of course the world didn't stop, not even in library blogland. I got back to find the AL had been voted one of the LIS News 10 Blogs to Read in 2008. Among LIS News voters, I was apparently "this year's most popular blogger, by a wide margin." What can I say? Once again, I'd like to thank all the little people whose backs I had to step on during my tumultuous rise to the top. Thank you, little people. But seriously, folks, that was nice. It still surprises me to have so many readers. The only downside, if there is one, is that it's harder to pose as the alternative library blogger when stuff like this happens. I'll pay that price if you keep reading. And then there's the danger that I'm "getting soft," as one of my readers accused me of last week. Perhaps it's my personal life right now that's making me mellow, because I don't feel like I'm getting soft. If that were the case, this would have been a good time to quit the AL. Instead I hope to come out swinging this year. Maybe I just need some new stuff to be annoyed about.