ALA Conference Tips

by Caitlin Moen, Head Editor, INALJ Louisiana

ALA Conference Tips

caitlin3Some websites to check out with tips for all you out there planning on attending the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago (or any other large professional conference!):

I am a total introvert and I find I have a better time at conferences if I do a couple things:

  • Try to hook up with a more extroverted friend who is willing to take me along to meet some more people in a low pressure way.

  • Get involved with groups, communities, etc. to have a reason to be somewhere and a shared interest to start a conversation.

  • Talk to vendors – they’re paid to be there and most of them don’t mind chatting! Make sure you’re upfront about your lack of purchasing power though 😉

  • Look for the socials, dine arounds, ,etc. where people are drinking and eating and having a good time – awesome opportunity to meet some people.

  • Don’t be afraid to hook up with people in person that you’ve only met once or twice (or only met online!!). These can be great connections and seeing these people at conferences may be your only time to really connect in person.

I’ll be at Annual this summer – I’m doing a poster session for Emerging Leaders on Friday and I’m staying the whole weekend. If you want to connect, feel free to hook up with me at It’s my third ALA Annual and I don’t claim to be an expert, but I am getting a little better at the whole experience!  Always happy to share experiences with others and have a push to get me over my introvert hump!

Naomi House

Naomi House, MLIS, is the founder and publisher of the popular LIS jobs resource (formerly I Need a Library Job). Founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard, INALJ’s social media presence has grown to include Facebook (retired in 2016), Twitter and a LinkedIn group, in addition to the interviews, articles and jobs found on INALJ has had over 20 Million page views and helped thousands of librarians and LIS folk find employment! Through grassroots marketing, word of mouth and a real focus on exploring unconventional resources for job leads, INALJ grew from a subscription base of 20 friends to a website with over 500,000 visits in a month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this many new jobs published daily. She was a 2013 Library Journal Mover & Shaker and has served on the University of Maryland iSchool Board from 2014-2017. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and now lives part time in Western NY and Budapest, Hungary. She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 


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