2015 ALA Annual Conference Recap

Posted by Vesone Dean

Inside the Conference

So, not everyone was fortunate enough to make it to San Francisco for this year’s ALA conference. But don’t worry, we put together the next best thing!

A lot of folks that attended the conference blogged, tweeted and … videoed about their experience, so we put a recap/mashup of all the best stuff we could find.

Too Long; Didn’t Read or TL;DR

If you don’t have time to read through this entire article plus the additional articles linked to it, the video above is your best option. ALA put a really nice video on their Youtube channel that shows highlights of the conference, in just under 3 minutes.

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 11:   Roberta Kaplan attends Glamour's 23rd annual Women of the Year awards on November 11, 2013 in New York City.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Glamour)

The Speakers

Based on the overwhelming amount of tweets during the conference, it appears that the lineup of speakers were a pretty big hit! I mean when you have Ron Swanson…errr uum… Nick Offerman on the panel, you really can’t go wrong…right?

Nick on his new book Gumption

Among all the great speakers this year Roberta Kaplan, a civil rights lawyer, delivered an incredible opening speech that details the adversity she faced in her own personal journey. Given the events that surrounded the conference, it was the perfect way to kick off ALA this year. Below is a five-minute snippet of her speech, as well as other clips from the rest of the panel.

Roberta Kaplan on Living Gay

Gloria Steinem on Starting a New Era

Courtney Young on Passing the Gavel

Robbie Robertson & David Shannon on Hiawatha and the Peacemaker

To watch all of the clips on ALA’s Youtube channel, check out their playlist here.

First Person Perspective

The First Person Perspective

Many of the attendees this year not only tweeted (#alaac15) but blogged a lot as well. We found five different librarian perspectives on how ALA was this year, check them out below:

Jane Lofton’s Adventures in School Libraryland

ALA couldn’t have picked a better location, time, and opening keynoter for its 2015 Annual Conference.

School Library Journal (Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3)

I just returned from the American Library Association Annual Conference and boy are my arms…


Can’t do it. There shall be no corny jokes here, my friends¹. The conference was too wonderful. Too meaningful.

Association for Library Service to Children

This is an entire series of blog posts throughout her time at ALA.

Building Creative Bridges

Anyone who still sees libraries primarily as places to borrow books certainly wasn’t onsite for the opening general session of the American Library Association (ALA) 2015 Annual Conference here in San Francisco last Friday afternoon. It was an event that set the tone for the entire conference for many of us. It reminded us how interwoven libraries and library staff members are with the communities they serve. And it was a perfect way to celebrate the larger events unfolding around us.

Junior Tidal (JuniorTidal.com)

ALA can be overwhelming, but I learned a great deal about libraries. I also was able to pick up some sweet conference swag, like a Criterion Collection DVD of Roshomon, and a bunch of free pens. I even won a selfie stick from Credo, which I’ll donate to the library.

We’ll end it with a podcast

The last resource we found was a wrap-up discussion/podcast between Dan Freeman, Jason Griffey and Amanda Goodman. They do a great job of covering the events at the conference including privacy rights, tech, data, etc.

So, if you went to ALA what was your experience like, what was your biggest take away? If not, we hope this recap helped (although we know it’s not a replacement for actually going).

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