Sunday, February 26, 2006

Alaska Library Association: Megwitch (Thank you) and on to AkLA 2007 in Juneau

With over 350 attendees, AkLA 2006 set a record attendance. This well-planned event included poster sessions, tours, an authors’ dessert reception, exhibits, silent auction, live auction, roundtable meetings, numerous presentations, luncheons, and an awards banquet. Live entertainment was provided each night ranging from Latin jazz, bluegrass, harp, to klezmer. Conference participants had the option of earning college credit through the University of Alaska-Anchorage.

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to participate in two presentations. One was a solo presentation on Honoring Generations, our IMLS funded scholarship program for indigenous students. The second presentation was a panel on the International Indigenous Librarians Forum. Some of the other events I attended were the Public Libraries Roundtable Meeting, Barbara Fister’s keynote address on "Libraries and the Cartography of Knowledge,” Preparing Newspaper Collections for Digitization, the Intellectual Freedom Roundtable Meeting, the “Fragile Future of the Public Library,” the USA PATRIOT Act, and the Alaska Native Issues Roundtable Meeting. ALA Executive Board member June Pinell-Stephens was honored at the Awards Banquet with several awards including one for life-term service and librarian of the year.

The snow arrived on Saturday morning. Anchorage now has snow cover on the roads in preparation for the upcoming Iditerod.