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So maybe it was a little crazy getting to our hotel in the middle of a city-wide celebration, and maybe Susan, Carolyn and I looked a little strange wheeling our luggage through a sea of red shirts (and no shirts), but honestly, how often does crazy like that happen, and how often do you get to be right in the middle of it all? It was an adventure!

Susan and Carolyn and the Blackhawks Fans
Susan and Carolyn and the Blackhawks Fans

Upon arriving at our hotel, Susan, Carolyn and I headed to McCormick Convention center (my first time there!) to get our badges. Then Susan and I headed to the LITA 101 session where we met up with Thomas. One of my main purposes this weekend is the successfully stream the LITA Top Tech Trends program on Sunday afternoon! (2pm EST, 1pm CST) So I began giving out handbills to everyone in the room for “Sunday Afternoon with LITA” and talking up the event. I was a marketing machine! I didn’t even notice when I handed one to Cory Doctorow, which is good, because I might have been star-struck if I had realized it was him.

LITA 101
LITA 101

After LITA 101, Roz, Mary Beth and I heard Steven Levitt, of Freakonomics fame! He told about his failures rather than his successes (the failures made for much better stories) and he had a wonderful story on pricing models that really isn’t blog appropriate, but I’ll happily discuss with anyone who is interested! Oh, and did I mention that RahmEmanuelwelcomed us all to Chicago? It was a good day that only got better when Susan, Roz, Mary Beth, Thomas, Carolyn, and I met Chelcie Rowell for drinks and then dinner at the Italian Village (Thanks for a great dinner venue choice, Roz!)

Rahm Emanuel at ALA 2013
Rahm Emanuel at ALA 2013

But I digress, as I said in the title, “It’s all about LITA”. On Saturday, the Top Tech Trends committee met and reviewed all the details for our program on Sunday afternoon! We are trying to improve an already successful program, which is a challenge. I’m also responsible for streaming the program, a nerve-racking task as many of the key elements for successful streaming, like bandwith and audio feeds, are out of my hands and require me to have faith in the resources at the convention center. I’ll be very stressed until that part of the conference is over!

After inspecting the venue for “Sunday Afternoon with LITA”, I attend 19th Annual Reference Research Forum. There were several great presentations; one was a usability study of LibGuides that generated some great insights on how students use our resources, and another was on data visualization of reference transactions. The data visualization was impressive, but the human coding of the data was an arduous task. I followed this session with a trip to the Exhibits Hall where I walked half the exhibits and found a nice place to sit and write this before my next session, “The Myth and the Reality of the Evolving Patron”.

Tonight I’ll test drive all the video equipment for streaming! Fingers crossed! Check out #ALA2013 on Twitter for more about the conference and check out #ALA2013TTT for more about the LITA Top Tech Trends program!