Last week, I made what might be the shortest ALA Midwinter trip in ZSR’s history; it certainly was in mine! I was away from home a total of 41 hours, and in Boston for only 32. But I packed a lot into my up-and-back trip, including several meet-ups with librarian friends (hence the hugs count), and strategic hotel selection so I could skip an early-morning walk in the cold!
To be clear, I did not technically attend Midwinter, as I was on my way to back to the airport when the conference officially began Friday evening. But as Midwinters–and, seemingly, all conferences–are blurring at the edges with tag-along meetings, I guess I was, sorta, at Midwinter. Maybe. My technical attendance matters far less than why I was there: to serve as an adviser to the group founding the new ACRL Data Management Roadshow.
As many of you know, I co-founded the first ACRL Roadshow, for Scholarly Communication, in 2008. Before “retiring” from the Scholarly Communication Roadshow presenter team, I co-led 10 Roadshow workshops. Given my experience in the logistics of both creating a day-long workshop, and in working with a variety of host institutions, I was invited to join the Friday planning meeting for the new Roadshow. A day spent with cool librarians planning a new Roadshow workshop, for which I merely get to answer questions and give advice but have no additional responsibility, in a neat city, with flights that worked out to allow a bit of sightseeing, too? HECK YES!
I am really excited about this new Roadshow, and selfishly hope to attend one someday, as I could always learn more about data management support. The librarians selected as the inaugural presenters are sharp, funny, intelligent leaders in data librarianship, and I am impressed by their workshop development so far. I am also excited that the ACRL Board sees value in the Roadshow model, and green-lighted the creation of a second Roadshow to offer librarians.
And although I wasn’t technically at Midwinter, it was nice to be back in the thick of ALA conference going, as I haven’t been to an ALA since Annual in 2014. Made me miss the big, unwieldy conferences a bit. It also made me excited that I will be returning to Boston in June for a copyright symposium (well, at least that’s my hope!), as there are many Boston to-dos that I didn’t have time, or ideal weather, to actually do!