1. Don’t give up. Just because you cannot attend this year, doesn’t mean you aren’t involved and cannot be connected.
AASL members will be able to follow along with tweets, blogs, and more about the Annual Conference in Minneapolis. Check out the website to see what is in store. There is the Conference Ning http://aasl11.ning.com/, the AASL 2011 Learning Commons wiki http://aasl2011learningcommons.wikispaces.com/, and the AASL Virtual Conference http://www.aasl11.org/virtual/registration/. For only $99 as an AASL member, I can get a taste of the conference sessions and avoid the travel, hotel, and out-of-school expenses.
2. Find other professional activities locally. For example, I will attend the TENN-SHARE Datafest in Nashville. Here’s some information DeAnne Luck shared via email about one of the activities occuring – the Gadget Lab!:
Part of the challenge of eBooks is dealing with the various eReaders and other devices that display the various eBook formats. You can learn a whole lot more about the variety of gadgets at the DataFest on Thursday, October 27th at the Nashville Public Library.
Representatives from Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, and the Apple Store will give demonstrations of the Nook, Kindle, and iPad, among others. We’ll also have the “Gadget Lab” available for hands-on practice/playing in both the morning and afternoon. Thanks to NPL, TSLA, and Millard Oakley PL for the loan of their devices! Also, Jenny Ellis and Kyle Cook will review the use of Overdrive eBooks on devices like the Kindle in their session, “Library eBooks from Overdrive.”
Take advantage of these opportunities, plus vendor sessions and networking with librarians from across the state, by registering for the DataFest here (it’s free!): http://www.tenn-share.org/2011datafest And don’t forget the Tenn-Share conference on Friday, 10/29! http://www.tenn-share.org/2011Conference
3. Attend a webinar. I registered for several lately, but was unable to attend live due to teaching schedules. All of those webinars are archived so I can view them in my leisure (and in my pajamas).
4. Read my twitter feeds using the hashtags to actively search and keep a lively stream of information coming in.
5. Plan harder to be there for the next one and emotionally do not let anyone stop you from attending. Not only the economy, but changes in jobs, homes, relationships, etc. impacted me. If I start saving now, I’ll have that special fund for this conference.
6. Continue working within the profession on committees. Serve on ALA-wide committees and joint ALSC, YALSA committees, too. I am a professional 365 1/4 days a year, not just during the week of AASL National Conference. I will continue to write, speak, and promote AASL membership.