ALIA Dreaming 08 – the social side

Not only have the conference presentations been good, as will the papers Im sure, but I have to post about the social side as well. The networking opportunties have been great.

It started on Tuesday night with a welcome reception and the opening of the trade exhibit. Drinks and horses doovers met everyone who had mostly arrived on librarian full planes from all Australian capitals on Monday and Tuesday. We were entertained by Drums Atemwe – a group of young indigenous girls who captured our attention with their beats and smooth moves.

On Wednesday morning I attended the first-timers breakfast – with lovely food and new faces. Met some lovely people from around the country and across library sectors. I even met up with an old friend, who I last saw at our shared workplace 18 years earlier. For everyone who remembers who, Marita Thompson sends her greetings to all who used to be at DVRLS.

Wednesday night was Happy Hour followed by the Australian Premiee of the Hollywood Librarian documentary movie. Even though I had read reports and seen snippets from it I didnt know what to expect. Appropriately armed with popcorn, I was pleasantly surprised, it was an enjoyable, insightful and emotional look into the public library scene in the USA at present. Ann Seidl, the producer, director etc here and shared both with us on the night and with individuals at the trade exhibit the next morning. It will be screening in Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide in coming months, so check it out if you can.

Thursday morning I attended the ALS Breakfast, which I have already blogged about separately. Thursday night was the awesome conference dinner. About 600 people were bused 30 minutes out of Alice Springs to Ooraminna Homestead – most of that way on corrugated dirt roads. We arrived to find an open arena, with beautifully laid out tables out in the open resting on that amazing red sandy soil. We found out during the course of the evening that the buildings surrounding us were built as a movie set for a film which never eventuated. Our MC, the son-in-law of the owners, was friendly, irreverent and hilarious. The food was BBQ style with the option of steak or barramundi – the steak was mmmmmmmm! We did some star gazing which was amazingly easy in the middle of nowhere, led by an amateur astronomer, learnt some line dancing and boogied away to live music. It was a great night.

Friday morning was a late start fortunately. We finished the day with farewell drinks and a visit from some of our reptilian natives. It wa very amusing to watch as several people bolted as the handler brought out the python for a look see. A large group of Victorian public and other librarians went out for dinner in Alice to finish off a great social time.

I was fortunate to spend most of my conference time with two good friends, inspirational to me in their own ways. Thanks Melissa and Glenn for helping to make it such a good time.

1 comment

    • harps on September 6, 2008 at 2:53 am

    It was a plesh, and you did an amazing job just typing so fast and well on you tiny ‘puter thingy, let alone figuring out how to say it.

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