Snapshot Saturday gone wild: Photo Blog of ALA

Last week I attended ALA Annual – (the larger of the American Library Association’s conferences) for work. While I was there to present one poster, and co-present a second, and learn from fellow library professionals, I also had the opportunity to enjoy myself. My friend Karen, a local to the Orlando area, let me stay at her house, and accompanied me to the conference’s exhibit floor, as well as sharing some other local joys with me, including her lovely four-footed child, Zelda.

Professional Development


All checked in with the first day’s conference paper.


I presented “There’s a policy for that?” at the Saturday morning poster session. Photo by Brian Keith.


Selfie with my poster.


George Wade with the poster we co-presented, “7,000 and Counting


Meeting Authors 


When the author asks for a selfie with you. Apparently I ask good questions. Photo by e.E. Charlton-Trujillo


An articulate and inspiring young lady – Selfie with Jazz Jennings.


Meeting an NPR celebrity – Paula Poundstone

Robin Stevenson, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Ingrid Abrams, Alex Gino, E.M. Kokie discussing LBT+ representation in YA and MG novels.

Robin Stevenson, e.E. Charlton-Trujillo, Ingrid Abrams, Alex Gino and E.M. Kokie discussing LBT+ representation in YA and MG novels.


Taking on Important Issues


Karen’s contribution to the “I Stand with Orlando” board.


I stand with Orlando because love and not hate is what should define humanity. #OrlandoStrong


In light of all the hubbub around bathroom bills, I was thrilled to see this sign in one of the main banks of bathrooms.

There was a booth to create videos for banned books week. Karen read an excerpt from It, and I chose And Tango Makes Three.

There was a booth to create videos for banned books week. Karen read an excerpt from It, and I chose And Tango Makes Three.


Other Weekend Fun


Ice cream sandwiches, cupcakes and a cafe with comfy chairs and books – snacking heaven.

Me and Zelda chillin'

Me and Zelda chillin’

Logging books I scored in the exhibit hall in Goodreads

Logging books I scored in the exhibit hall in Goodreads

Zelda just wanted a seat at the table.

Zelda just wanted a seat at the table.

Self evaluation and review

I work within the library system at the University of Florida. In effort to increase my professional development for my role there, I have been taking the Supervisory Challenge courses at UF (that is where the values survey that vexed me came from).

In addition, I applied, and was accepted to the Sunshine State Library Leadership Institute (or SSLLI). With the SSLLI, I have a mentor who is there to help me along my journey of gaining leadership skills and the practical application thereof via our class project.

In preparing for my next meeting with my mentor (we use Google Hangouts, as she is in Tallahassee, and I’m in Gainesville), I decided it would be prudent to review the handouts and notes from session 1. That then drove me to describe how I would define success in my current position, and in my career. I also looked at what I thought were the skills the “perfect candidate” for my position would have, noted the ones where I didn’t feel confident in my own skills, and flagged those as areas of improvement.

This took a while, and a lot of hard thinking. So hard, in fact, that I got up and walked away from the introspection a few times because I was uncomfortable. But I came back to it, every time.  I ended up with a list of talking points for when I meet my mentor. And I have a better idea of where I am actually heading with this process – I have a metric of success, not just the vague notion “I want to learn leadership skills.”

I acknowledge these goals will change over time. That the job will change. I will change. But I feel more confident my my enrollment in this program now that I know what I expect to get from it.

And I realize that the same kind of evaluation of my self outside of my work environment – at home, with my writing, with my relationships – would be just as beneficial to me. If I know what kind of person I want to be (and yes, this does include going back and looking at the values survey), and can set goals that I know can change, I think I can make the most of each day. Or at least feel that I’m heading towards something, rather than just floating free, aimless, in the ether, waiting to see what life brings me.

I’m beginning to understand that life is about choices, but sometimes you need to know where you are headed – at least for now – to help you limit those choices so you are not overwhelmed. So you don’t shut down. So that you don’t lose days just drifting.

Writing To-Do List

A few weeks ago I was going through containers in my office, and I decided to pull out all of my journals, morning pages and writing notebooks.  When I was done, I was surrounded by no fewer than 40 various sized notebooks, plus another 30 or so “fit in your pocket” notebooks I habitually carry around. As I was thus surrounded my husband passed through the room. I looked up at him from where I was walled in and said “You know, I’m beginning to think that I’m a writer.”

Notebooks I carried with me today.

Notebooks I carried with me today.

For me being a writer is just part of who I am, and it comes across in how I choose to spend my leisure time, the obligations to other writers and writing groups I take on, and in my job.  My obligations and feel-I-shoulds vary across this range, and I find that right now I am facing a great number of things that fall on my writing and writing related to-do list.

  • Finish Minion Handbook
    • Finish entries
    • Create Table of Contents
    • Add illustrations and maps
    • Final edits
    • Send to customer
  • “Wedding” story – write first draft from outline (for online writing group)
  • “Troubled Teen” story – figure out new ending (from short story intensive class)
  • Outline “donor” story for new site with sister,
  • Review & update outline for “fox boy” story; send outline to writing mentor
  • Finalize new online writing group from Short Story Intensive class
  • Prepare for “How to Critique” workshop with local writing group
  • Prepare for “Critiquing our Critiques” session with online writing group
  • Work with local writing group to set up spring writing retreat
  • Follow up with “off line” critique group
  • Beta read novel for author friend
  • Write training course for Introduction to UF’s Institutional Repository
  • Write presentation for USETDA conference (co-author)

Obviously these all have different levels of importance and time commitments, and they range in tasks from writing to reading, from creating PowerPoint Presentations to corresponding with group members.

All in all, I think I may have enough writing to keep me happy for a while 🙂