Yesterday, Friday, June 27, 2008, was my fourth day in Anaheim and my first day at the ALA Annual 2008 Conference. Joe Osborn and I attended YALSA 101 (from 1600-1700) and Intellectual Freedom 101 (1700-1800).
YALSA 101 was an introduction to the conference and YALSA as a division. I went to the ACRL 101 program last year, and I found that YALSA 101 this year seemed much more lively and easy-going.
During the program, the current president of the division highlighted some of the cool programs YALSA is sponsoring during the conference such as Teen Spaces: Between Home and School, a program about creating both physical and virtual spaces for teens, and the YALSA Bloggers Meeting. She also highlighted the fact that YALSA and ALA are member-driven, and volunteering is easy to do: just fill out a YALSA committee form on the YALSA website (search for “volunteer form”). Overall, I found the YALSA 101 program to be helpful, even though this conference is not my first. I liked the culture and content of YALSA so much, I even joined the division online as I was sitting in the audience.
Intellectual Freedom 101
Since we were at YALSA 101 until the very end, we came in late to the Intellectual Freedom 101 program. When we arrived, Deborah Caldwell-Stone, the Deputy Director of the Office of Intellectual Freedom, was speaking. She was talking about the fact that the Office of Intellectual Freedom encourages librarians and libraries to consult the Office of Intellectual Freedom if or when encountering an intellectual freedom issue in the library. Some of the purposes of the OIF is to help librarians and libraries deal with intellectual freedom concerns, help develop policies, and train librarians and lawyers on the concept of intellectual freedom. The presenters went on to explain how relevant the Office of Intellectual Freedom is today with the advent of many intellectual freedom cases. (I attended an Intellectual Freedom Subcommittee meeting with Deborah Caldwell-Stone at the ALA Annual Conference in 2007.)
Reflection of My First Day at ALA Annual 2008
Division 101 programs are always a good idea to attend, in my opinion. YALSA is such a neat division with really hip and cool librarians and the Office of Intellectual Freedom is filled with many intellectual and noble librarians that going to their programs were no-brainers for Joe and me. Fridays are typically pretty quiet at ALA, so it was a pleasant surprise to see so many people at the programs I went to. (Unfortunately, some we’re going to miss some cool programs on Monday like the aforementioned Teen Spaces program sponsored by YALSA as we’re leaving California Monday evening.)