I’m a cataloger. But the type of cataloging I do is very format specific and usually libraries don’t have more than one or two people doing it. At very large institutions you may have a team or unit, but it’s unusual. So I need to have people to contact and work with that deal with the same stuff I do. Cataloging is not something that can be done in a vacuum, nor is it something that can be done completely on your own. There’s all sorts of situations that require collaboration. Rule interpretation, proofreading of your records, phrasing of notes, and let’s not forget the really weird shit that has to be cataloged. Usually two heads (or more) are better than one when figuring out that stuff.
OK, back to the point of this post, I’m currently gearing up and trying to sort out my schedule (which is one big conflict just like always) for the American Library Association Midwinter Meeting. This meeting is really the “business” meeting for the ALA that occurs every January. It’s lots of meetings. Lots and lots of meetings. Committees, user groups, interest/discussion groups, cataloging groups, they all have meetings and some have presentations in addition to their meetings. And everything conflicts with everything else. Not to mention the social activities sponsored by the various groups, which are an important element to conferences. As any young professional knows, networking is paramount to your professional development, and as I mentioned above, necessary for me so I have people to talk to when I need help. It’s also nice to put faces (and voices) with the names you see on listserv messages. My days start with meetings beginning at 8am and usually don’t end until late in the evening. There’s even meals for some groups, not to mention the various vendor social events in the evenings. In addition to all this professional activity, I have friends I want to see and spend time with. So sleep is not something I get a whole lot of at conferences.
Midwinter is just the first conference/meeting of the year for me. I usually have 3 more after Midwinter each year. ALA has their big Annual Conference the end of June. June is a long way away. We aren’t even a week into 2007 yet. But today I got a message telling me that housing for the Annual Conference in June is now open. Oh, and don’t forget to pre-pre-register for the conference while you’re at it. I’m so not ready to think about June. I’m still trying to gear up and plan for January’s meeting! Insanity, it’s just conference insanity.