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 webzine and jobs list (formerly I Need a Library Job) and former CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) of, a crowdfunding platform focused on African patrimony, heritage and cultural projects. INALJ was founded in October 2010 with the assistance of her fellow Rutgers classmate, Elizabeth Leonard. Its 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. INALJ has had over 21 Million page hits and helped many, many thousands of librarians 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 one month. Naomi believes that well-sourced quantity is quality in this narrow job market and INALJ reflects this with many new jobs published daily. She has also written for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 LexisNexis Government Info Pro and many other publications in the past decade. She presents whenever she can, including serving on three panels at the American Library Association's Annual Conference in Las Vegas; as breakout presenter at OCLC EMEA in Cape Town, South Africa; as a keynote speaker at the Virginia Library Association annual meeting; at the National Press Club in Washington DC; McGill University in Montreal, Canada; the University of the Emirates, Dubai, MLIS program and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Naomi was a Reference, Marketing and Acquisitions Librarian for a contractor at a federal library outside Washington, DC, and has been living and working in Budapest, Hungary and Western New York State. She spent years running her husband’s moving labor website, fixed and sold old houses and assisted her husband cooking delicious Pakistani food. She is preparing to re-enter the workforce and is job hunting. Her husband is now the co-editor of INALJ, a true support!  She has heard of spare time but hasn’t encountered it lately. She pronounces INALJ as eye-na-elle-jay. 


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