This was my second time attending the American Library Association Annual Conference – thank you day job for paying my way! I attended a lot of great panels, got a few books signed, and met friends old and new.
As per usual, there was a tidal wave of microaggressions and casual racism both directed toward me and that I overheard. But what can you really expect out of a conference that chose a slaveholder for its logo (not to mention picked “Back on the Chain Gang” by the Pretenders as the first song to play during the opening session).
Also, too many panels were all or mostly all (as in 1 POC) white or white passing. These aren’t new issues by any means, and it’s frustrating that ALA can’t seem to get it together. Individually, great work is happening, but overall there is a lot of problematic shit ALA and librarianship as a whole are hand-waving away.
Despite all that, I enjoyed much of my time at ALA (as a queer WOC, I’m used to compartmentalizing my experiences). It’ll be a while before I’m able to scrounge up the ridiculous sum of money it takes to go to ALA, but I’m glad I went this time. To sum up, here’s the list of everything I attended and the books I picked up at the conference.