On The Conference
The Alberta Library Conference has been a blast so far. Everyone is in a really good mood because we are in Jasper and the weather is absolutely gorgeous!
^flags from recent Pride week, and the lovely mountains, which always remind me of The Lord of The Rings.
The conference is being held at the Jasper Park Lodge, which is super fancy (and has an awesome cafe with super passionate barista!)
On Friday my manager and I attended a pre-conference where we learned about being savvy when talking to the media. I volunteered to be a mock interviewee (i’m trying to take opportunities to work on my public speaking, because it’s still a bit out of my comfort zone…).
We attended the First Timer’s Reception in the evening where they had tons of free books (unedited proofs and advanced readers copies) for us to take!
Yesterday I presented my session, There’s a Graphic Novel for Everyone (Yes, Even You!). Although my nerves did suddenly appear and I felt my face reddening, I did enjoy sharing all I’d learned about graphic novels the past few months. I saw some familiar faces in the crowd, even a few smiling strangers, and a bunch of people have come to me afterward to give positive feedback and ask me about accessing my resources lists and presentation materials, which fills me with joy!
^Playing the ukelele during group-work to avoid awkward silence!
I had about 45 people register, which is wonderful! Like I’ve said before, even if one person finds some information in my presentation useful or interesting, then I am a happy woman. I hope lots of people were inspired to take a closer look at how awesome graphic novels are! When my session was over, I was suddenly hit with a wave of exhaustion, but the good kind.
Some other highlights of the conference:
- Keynote speaker Scott Bonner, Director of Ferguson Municipal Public Library, on his experiences serving the community during turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri.
- Adventures in Animation, where many practical ideas were shared about lively, community-focused programming
^these feminist posters are so awesome!
- Stand Up! Access to Justice, where I learned about recent and upcoming resources being created by the Centre for Public Legal Education in Alberta (CPLEA)
- an author talk by Trevor Herriot, where he shared his passions about birds, grassland environments, Indigenous traditions and meeting places, and conservation
- Keynote speaker Sheila Watt-Cloutier sharing her deep knowledge on the current condition of the Arctic and Inuit adaptation to a warming climate
- Learning, Art and the Third Age, where we looked at the importance of art programming and created a quick, cool, group art project
^colourful community art that took only minutes to create
- Up With Voices: Zines, where we learned about zine collections and creation, zine workshop programming, and an exciting Indigenous zine project currently in the works
These are just a few highlights, but overall this conference has been amazing and I wish I could have attended every session!
Jasper Municipal Library
Of course we had to visit Jasper Municipal Library at some point! Thursday morning we got directions from a lovely woman at the Jasper info center. The library is a mix of modern and cosy. I am in love with the cute manga-style posters welcoming you in. A library staff told me they were created by a local teen for a program!
We also stumbled upon this adorable Little Free Library in town.
Regarding Impulse Purchases
We had some time to explore the Jasper shopping scene a little bit.
I promised myself I wouldn’t spend any money on cheesy souvenirs, but we were exploring on Thursday morning and I fell in love with these finger puppets. A grown woman can spend her money how she likes, right?
Not pictured: the one I got for Mom for Mother’s Day 😉 SORRY MOM, IT’S A SECRET.
I also tried on some really expensive patterned pants in the Fairmont Lodge store, and of COURSE they fit me perfectly. Comfy + cute pants are tricky to find, so I got out my wallet resignedly.
Brookies, Lattes, General Facestuffery
On Wednesday evening when we arrived, we had a delicious meal at the restaurant beside our hotel, and a quick soak in the outdoor hot-tub, we retreated to our room for the night.
^ My wellington was super yummo.
We also ate in Jasper town-site as well as the Jasper Park lodge buffets.
The Coco Cafe has the coolest bathroom design, and lots of funky art throughout.
At the Fairmont Fitzhugh’s To Go, I tried my first ever Brookie (Brownie/Cookie) and Cruffin (Croissant/Muffin).
The Brookie was the winner.
On Nearly Burning Down Our Hotel Room
On thursday morning, we knew we would have to talk to the hotel staff because our room was ridiculously hot. We had kept the air conditioning on all night but with no success. We talked with the hotel desk staff who said that the air conditioning wasn’t set up properly from the winter and that we shouldn’t use it. We advised them that it was emitting cold air so they basically said “oh, OK then, guess it’s alright”.
When we returned that evening the room was like the deepest steaming crevice of hell. Something was obviously messed up. We called the desk. A guy came up and urgently advised us that there was no exhaust hose connected to the air conditioning, so although it was providing cool air from the front, all of the hot air was escaping out the back directly into the curtains behind. “This is bad” he said. “This could have caused some damage.” My manager and I imagined having to call our library admin staff to advise them we’d burned down our hotel (this became a running joke for the rest of the shenanigans we got into on the trip).
Ah well, what happens in Jasper stays in Jasper.
It seems like Elijah Wood didn’t take up my offer in a previous post to crash the conference, unfortunately. IT’S COOL I’M STILL FANGIRLING FOR YOU ELIJAH 😀