March 24, 2010
This post was originally written for the PLA Blog. ALA holds the copyright to this text; it is reproduced here with permission.
My name is Gretchen and I am not an audiobook person. Oh, I understand why our patrons like them–and why they can be such a boon to reluctant readers–but they’re just not my thing. I’m a very visual person and my mind tends to wander just listening to a story and then I realize I don’t know what’s going on and I have to go back and sometimes the voices don’t sound the way I think they should and I’d much rather just have the book in front of me.
But for my car trip today (I drove from Indianapolis to Chicago so I’d have a direct flight to Portland) I stopped by my local public library and checked out a copy of A MANGO-SHAPED SPACE by Wendy Mass after my young cousin recommended it to me. And while I had my usual trouble with staying focused and accepting different interpretations of lines of dialogue or the delivery of pauses, I did enjoy being able to make progress on a book while I was driving. I don’t think this experience is going to make me an audiobook person, but I do like them a little more now.
Normally when I fly I’m alone, so flights–especially longer ones–put me in a reflective mood. This evening I was thinking about this conference, of course, and what I’d like to get out of it. I’m in my final semester of my MLS at Indiana University, Indianapolis, and while I attended ALA last summer and a few regional conferences since then, I’m still pretty new to conferences and honestly, to librarianship. While I learned a lot at ALA and the conference experience was incredibly energizing and the entire thing was a pretty mind-blowing experience, it was also a fairly solitary experience. I didn’t know many people who were going and I didn’t meet as many new people as I wanted. But for PLA I know a lot more people who are here and I’m really looking forward to spending time with them–and to meeting lots of new people. In fact, I’ll be at the PLA membership booth (#2255) from 9:45-10:30 on Friday and I’d love it if you stopped by!
I’m also looking forward to blogging about the experience. You can follow me on Twitter (@librarified), too, if you’d like.
Seeing a real actual snow-topped mountain during our descent this evening was thrilling (I grew up amidst the flat cornfields of northern Indiana, so any sort of topological variation is exciting) and now, after months of anticipation, I am finally in Portland joining thousands of other librarians for learning and networking and having fun.
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