MLA Early Bird Deadline Tomorrow

Tomorrow, April 21st is the deadline to register at the Early Bird rate for MLA in Washington DC. 
The deadline to be an Official Blogger is TODAY April 20th, and Official Videographer is due  April 30th.

If you are going to MLA this year, it is about time to sit down with your planner (online or paper) and figure out your schedule.  MLA’s Online Program Planner will have the details on most of the scheduled activities. 

If you want to get in a little sight seeing or other non-librarian type activities, check out Kathel Dunn’s post  on behalf of the LAC Hospitality Committee for things to do in D.C. that require some advanced planning.  Sarah Cantrell has a great post about bicycle sight seeing  in D.C. on a tour or on your own.

As many veteran attendees know, a lot of MLA activities are unscheduled and are equally interesting and fun.  There are librarian rock concerts (Bearded Pigs Sunday May 23rd. Hilton 8:00-11:00pm) vendor parties, and possibly some tweet ups. 

Information on the unofficial news and unscheduled events can be a little hard to come by.  Like Kathel who didn’t find about the food court behind the hotel in Dallas until the last day of the conference, there are plenty of times where I was unaware of things or events.  In order to try and keep on top of those ephemeral unscheduled things you will want to think about doing some of the following:

  • Watch your snail mail and email!  Most of the vendors your library subscribes to will be sending out information about lunches, dinners, parties, prizes at their booths, etc.  Don’t delete it or toss it without looking at it. 
    *These are great way to meet other librarians using the products and to discuss issues, new products, etc. with the vendors.  I have yet to win anything at the booths but I have had many great discussions in the
  • Book mark the MLA ’10 Official Blog on your mobile device. If you don’t have a smart phone check out the blog at the Internet cafe.
    *Based on past experience, many of the posts are done during down times and in the evening, so it might not be ideal for up to the minute info.
  • Follow the MLA ’10 Official Twitter feed.  If you are already on Twitter and want to contribute to the group feed don’t forget to turn the feeds on your account from Private to public (you can switch it back to private after the meeting) and use the #mla2010 hashtag.
    *Twitter is definitely up to the minute, but if you aren’t used it it, you might find there is a small learning curve to sift through the chatter.  Best way to monitor it is either on your laptop or mobile phone.  Not as effective if you check it sporadically at the Internet cafe.
  • Join MLA’s CrowdVine to connect and chat online with others at meeting. Currently some Lost loving librarians are seeing if there is any interest in watching the series finale as a group.
    *Totally new this year, so I don’t know how exactly it will play into distributing news and information to people.

MLA has a nice Conference Community pagelisting other online ways to connect to the conference and try and stay on top of everything that is going on.  And of course there is always the low tech but very enjoyable and effective method of networking and talking to people face to face.  I can’t tell you how much I enjoy meeting all the different people at these meetings.  It is so nice to connect a name (which I may only see on MEDLIB-L or other online place) with the face and the person.  It’s great to hear them talk about  issues we are facing, success stories, and humorous anecdotes.

If any body has any other unofficial events or information they would like to share or suggestions for finding out about what is going on, please comment.

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