Check out Mango Writer Jillian Rodriguez's surefire steps to an awesome ALA Midwinter:
The American Librarian Association Midwinter Conference is January 24-28, otherwise known as five of the greatest days of the year. Since Mango’s inception, we’ve advised our clients, customers, and friends to Ask a Librarian. Ask them what’s new at Mango, ask them for revolutionary language-learning resources, ask them out for a drink. Now it’s our turn to dish out the advice, and when it comes to ALA, we know what it takes to have an awesome time with a group of really awesome people.
Get ready, Mango’s about to get down, library style.
1. Wear comfortable shoes.
Don’t be that person who has to leave the event early to change their shoes. There are things to do and people to see – and you’re going to do a lot of walking to get to them. Even though the conference offers free shuttles between conference events, it’s crucial that you opt for shoes that can go the distance during days packed with meetings, workshops, networking, and – of course – partying. No worries; comfortable shoes doesn’t translate to unfashionable (wouldn’t we know best?). ALA librarians are so up on their sock game that shoes become merely an afterthought. We expect nothing less than comfy, creative footwork from our better halves.
2. Pack lightly.
Rule of thumb for the midwinter conference: when you leave, your bags will be heavier than when you arrived. After you spend some time at Mango’s booth (write it down: lucky numbers 1557!) you’ll walk away bigger and brighter than ever before. You’ll get swagged Mango-style, with sunglasses, t-shirts, raffle prizes, and our oh-so-famous smoothies. And we’re not the only ones looking to get you drunk on freebies. You can pick up a Library Journal Coupon book and make the rounds, collecting tokens of affection from the country’s best and brightest and library vendors.
3. Scope out the best after parties.
By day, you’re the quintessential librarian, taking notes, passing out business cards, and live-tweeting your every move. By night, you’re a party animal looking to celebrate your awesome job, your awesome colleagues, and your ALA VIP status. We’ve got you covered. Join Every Library and Mango Languages for a two-part After Hours Party in downtown Philly on Saturday night. First, we will be co-hosting an open-bar film fest featuring quirky, fun, and unique shorts about education, libraries, and Philadelphia. At 11pm, we turn the floor over to DJ Marc Recordz for a $10 cover and cash bar dance party that’s sure to go down in history as the night where ALL the librarians broke it down. We’ll see you Saturday night!
4. Get social.
If a librarian has an amazing time at ALA Midwinter and no one is around to see the photos, did it really happen? In our professional opinion, it’s not worth the risk. Document your good times with the interactive hashtag #MangoALA, and post pictures of what you’re learning, seeing, and doing. In case you’re wondering, we’re more than willing to take ridiculous photos with you, decked out in all of our Mango swag. Get social and post your big, bright, and hopefully outrageous photos with us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
5. Indulge in local cuisine.
First, Philly cheesesteaks. We’ve all been given an excuse to spend five glorious days in Philadelphia, and we best make sure to experience one of the country’s most notorious indulgences. Visit Philly compiled a list of the Top 10 must-have Cheesesteaks in the city – challenge accepted. For the rest of your meals, ALA put together a Dine Around Philly program so that you can plan out your weekend’s culinary expedition down to the minute, all in the good company of your colleagues. Bon appétit!
See you there!