What Your Colleagues Say

Hear from those who have attended the ALA Conferences. Get their take on the professional and personal benefits of attending!


“Go. Experience. Learn.” - Scott Warren, Syracuse University Library

“Come for the learning. Stay for the friends. ALA is the place to build your professional network.” - Erin Dorney, Millersville University Library

“. . . Librarian Heaven. It's been three weeks and I still haven't come back to Earth.” - Carin O'Connor Honan, Allston Branch, Boston Public Library

“For overseas librarians, one of the best conferences to upgrade your professional skills, [and] learn the latest about what is happening in the library field.” - Anita, American Embassy School, New Delhi

What you bring back (valuable tools for transformation, amazing ideas, inspiration, contacts)

Amazing ideas are born when librarians get together.

One good idea can easily pay for the expense of participation. An idea can come from anywhere, a program, vendor, or colleague.

You cannot find as much information in one place anywhere else.

Adds value to your professional practices.

ALA gives us all an opportunity to learn from each other how to bring the best and most innovative solutions to our field.

A place to see and meet people who can move your library forward.

Best source for professional development, networking, and products.

It is a professional "must." It’s an opportunity to get new ideas and training, to network with your peers, and to visit current and potential vendors in person. It is the most effective way to stay up-to-date in the library profession!

Plenty of usable programming ideas.

This is the place for new technologies and innovative and creative ideas.

The most important conference for networking and identifying trends in products and services geared for the library market.

View best practices in action!

I always leave the conference with new ideas and contacts and feeling invigorated.

A great way to see the latest trends in the profession, to network with colleague and vendors, and to see what coming down the tracks.

You get to attend programs and workshops that inform you of best practices and new ways of serving our customers. You get to see a variety of products and services--many of them new and cutting edge--at the exhibits.

Great networking opportunity, a way to stay energized about the profession, and a great way to learn about a wide variety of vendors and compare their wares easily.

I learned of new products that may be the answer to issues in our library system.

The variety of projects and committees explores so many interesting aspects of the profession.

Best gathering of many professional development opportunities, exhibits and vendor reps, and networking possibilities that a librarian is likely to find.

Many new ideas for implementation at my library from the exhibits.

Spend a lot of time talking to the exhibitors. They have a wealth of information that cannot be found elsewhere.

Exhibits are great for me in my role as acquisitions librarian.

The awesome power of knowledge...truly reflected at this event.

An important means of keeping current with new trends and technologies, as well as learning innovative approaches from colleagues at other institutions.

The variety of programs offered that brought forth new ideas and understanding of library services was phenomenal!

Great way to see firsthand what trends are bubbling up in the library community; great way to hear research findings; great to see connections between different types of library communities.

The ALA sessions were awesome.

There's a lot of information that one simply can't get from a brochure or online ad.

Great sessions with relevant topics!

Inspiring content.

Great way to keep up with trends.

The gold standard in professional development and networking.


Why You Attend (from awesomeness - to more fun than a barrel of monkeys)

ALA is the place where things happen.

It’s where I get in touch with the future of the profession.

Reinvigorates your passion for the job, and re-inspires you to be a better librarian.

More fun than a barrel of monkeys; the networking opportunities are great; the exhibit floor is overwhelmingly swell.

Exhilarating, educational, and inspirational.

As a professional, this is the conference to go to.

Great opportunity for education, networking, and fun!

A great place to reconnect with the movers and shakers in my field.

Rejuvenating for the librarian's soul!

A great way to gain exposure to many different facets of our profession.

Cannot be surpassed for networking, continuing professional development, and generating enthusiasm for the work of librarians. I always come away reenergized and inspired.

The best part is meeting new colleagues by chance.

It is a great place to rejuvenate, regain excitement, get ideas, keep up, and network.

An experience that can only add to your job advancement.

The place to meet and work with those who believe in what you believe in.

Do the social things. No matter how tired it makes you.

A really enjoyable and informative conference!

Everybody's there.

Provides professional opportunities that are unavailable elsewhere.

One of the best ways to stay fresh in our profession.

An awesome experience!

A great opportunity to learn, network, and be inspired.

There's nothing like meeting peers from all over the world, and tapping into our collective energy.

Good, informative sessions, lots of information at exhibits, lots of other librarians to talk to and above all it is FUN!

The pull of so much awesomeness is hard to bear.

Best place to connect with overall library/information world -- good exhibits from a wide range of vendors, good speakers, networking opportunities.

An energizing experience that gives you the opportunity to learn, grow, and connect with your chosen profession. 

A conference of committed and professional librarians.

It's our Superbowl.

Attending ALA renews my professional spirit.

Great creativity enhancer.

The ALA Annual Conference provides networking opportunities that far surpass any other library event! 

Critical to my professional development.

Awesome! The conference to attend.

The connections you make don’t happen anywhere else.

Gets you out of a rut.

A good way to get excited about librarianship.


Great opportunity for networking and being involved in your profession on a national level.

Great venue for ALL librarians to learn and grow.

If you are involved with libraries—you have to go.

New ideas, new products, faces for names.

Can’t be matched by other conferences.

The whole experience is re-energizing and frankly a lot of fun.


You get to schmooze with colleagues from all over the country, and sometimes run into people who you haven't seen in years. Better than Facebook!

You will gain new ideas, meet new friends and will rejuvenate your professional life.

You owe it to yourself for your own personal professional growth to attend.

Engagement at the highest level of the profession.

I was professionally enriched.

You can establish and maintain relationships that lead to expertise, advice, and insights.

I found the entire experience exciting and revitalizing.

I had a job interview in the placement center that has progressed now to a third interview.

An incredible opportunity for networking within the profession - such a large number and great variety of attendees.

Lots of valuable info and inspiration.

The experience was awesome!

I loved it. It was a fabulous experience!

Rejuvenating, invigorating.

ALA was an absolute blast!


What you get out of the exhibits (panorama of the new and exciting, a wonder to engage in)

I wore my shoes out but I won a Kindle!

The exhibit hall is beyond imagination.

Many new ideas for implementation at my library.

Vendors are awesome.

Greatest show on Earth for book lovers.

The scope of library services and materials is amazing.

The exhibit hall is such a learning experience--and fun!

The exhibit floor is a wonder to engage in.

Go to the exhibits! So fun!

The exhibits alone make it worthwhile.

I learned of new products that may be the answer to issues in our library system.

Great as always! Love the opportunity to learn about technologies and innovations outside my area of expertise and love the opportunity to interact with vendors and learn about new products!

You could spend a week in the Exhibits and not see everything that is there!

The exhibit floor is overwhelmingly swell.

The exhibits show a panorama of what is new and exciting in the information industry.

Vendors offering everything you can imagine and a fair amount that you can't.

Good face time with the vendors.

Always excited about the new products and services I see there. Wish I could spend even more time at many of the booths.

Always learn something at the exhibits. I miss some meetings I thought I would attend because I benefit from what I am learning in the exhibit hall.

Amazing array of friendly people and products; great.

An amazing scope and array of products!

Each year the exhibitions area improves and deserves time for browsing and talking to vendors.

Exhibits are great. Love the instructional programs some exhibitors provide but also just the networking with reps.

Exhibits are great for me in my role as acquisitions librarian.

Enjoyed the exhibits, very friendly vendors who really did help me make some new and exciting purchases.

I am always astounded by the generosity of the exhibitors.

I appreciate a chance to visit with the vendors. It is a good way to become acquainted with new products and vendors (both old and new).

It was a great introduction to library services and products for a first-year librarian!

I love the exhibits! It's such a party atmosphere. Everyone seems to be happy and excited.

It was amazing; not only the location, but just being a part of something so important. It was a wonderful feeling.

It's always an amazing spectacle!

My absolute favorite part of the conference.

One of the best parts of ALA, every time.

Had a wonderful time meeting the authors.

The diversity of exhibitors is wonderful and the exhibits are very well arranged.

Best exhibit I've ever been to.

The exhibits MUST be visited at Annual Conference!

Expansive and informative.

Spend a lot of time talking to the exhibitors. They have a wealth of information that cannot be found elsewhere.

The scope of library services and materials is amazing. I think the exhibit Hall is such a learning experience--and fun!

Always useful, always something new.

Wonderful. Found many contacts. Was able to have real discussions with vendors.

Major reason I and others attend the exhibits is to meet with our current vendors. They can easily demo new products, and many offer short training sessions. Or they can discuss with us face-to-face any challenges we're having with their product. Invaluable.

Innovative ideas in exhibit booths.


Why the boss likes staff to attend (educational, invaluable, best practices, usable ideas in a rapidly changing field)

The best and most useful staff development tool money can buy.

If you're interested in staff development and ongoing learning, it's the place to be.

The opportunities for continued education, networking, sharing of best practices, and finding new products is unmatched!

Plenty of usable programming ideas.

I need the librarians who work for me to get involved with ALA for their own career development.

Educational in many ways and the networking is valuable.

I paid for students to attend because it is essential that they learn to network, to talk to vendors, and to appreciate the enormous numbers of people who are part of our profession.

It is an essential component to doing our job right. We need to stay abreast of the constantly changing landscape we work and live in. The networking factor is invaluable when you attend, and get involved in, committee work or just sit in on committee meetings, especially for new librarians. The exhibits are always interesting and fun to attend. They are a form of professional development also, as I learn a lot from the vendors that I contact if I want to be "tuned up" on emerging technology or the newest widget in the tool box.

The best way to keep up with trends in the profession.

Attendees are going to learn something and pick up new ideas.

It’s a necessary professional experience.

A wonderful way to see the library profession in action and come in contact with library support-- businesses, vendors, and colleagues.

A wonderful source for new ideas from both programs and colleagues. It's a great way to avoid career burnout for those who have been in the profession for a while and career advancement for those newer to libraries.