Random Thoughts from the 2009 Sask Library Association Conference

Just got back from Saskatoon after a few days there for a demo of the new SILS software and then the SLA conference.  I started doing a long narrative entry to sum up the week but that's not happening so here's some “I'm too tired to think” random highlights…

1. My presentation went well and the highlight was getting a room full of people to sing the Mr. Rogers' theme song.
2. Learning you can put 43L into a 40L tank – not the hard way but obviously *very* close to it.
3. Mis-hearing an annoucement of “Ladies and gentleman…” today at lunch as “Ladies and anal-retentative librarians”
4. Speaking of anal-retentive,  one person's observation that we often get to the level of pulling the fly shit from the pepper rang true at at least one point this weekend.
5.  Having a beer slurpee before the SLA AGM with a colleague since the fridge in my hotel room was apparently set to “Solidify”
6.  Being a judge at the “Librarian Olympics” entertainment event after the Awards Banquet and not having to do any of the hard work – “dress like a librarian (using toilet paper), “cataloguing the 'aboutness' of various dollar store objects”, “Irate Reference Patron” and “Best Shush!”.  All I had to do was mug lots and hold up a number every now and then.   
7. Being intercepted fairly quickly after entering the children's area of one library during our impromptu library branch tour I did on Thursday night with some colleagues from PA proving my point yet again
8.  Having inquiries being made about my availability by a couple different people (although to be fair, I don't know how serious they were – one was probably joking and one sounded like he wasn't.) But either way, being able to reply “Nope, happy where I am thanks!” felt really good. 
9.  Greg Salmer's Lifetime Achievement Award acceptance speech was quite nice.  Paying the person who delivered it on Greg's behalf five bucks to eat a big mound of the supper's super-hot horseradish as a dare (his suggestion) might have been the best money I ever spent.  (I didn't know he was delivering a speech ten minutes after we made the bet – at his suggestion.  “What if you would've puked?” I asked.  “I don't know – I didn't think of that.” he replied.)   
10. Hanging out with various Saskatoon librarians at the first ever S'toon
“Books to Beers” event after the conference, comparing notes on our
respective backgrounds, libraries and working lives was great (I even got to talk about the NDP leadership race with some people who were right into it – something that's a bit harder to find in Regina.)

(Bonus Memory: The Bruce Willis-esque adventure of trying to open a triple-security layer bottle of Tylenol in the elevator of my hotel as the robotic voice ticked off the floors…”second floor” (rips open the box)…”fourth floor”…(gets plastic wrapper off bottle)…”sixth floor”…(colleague jams thumb through tin foil safety seal)…”seventh floor”.  Luckily, a librarian who wasn't with us got off here – and took a moment to look back “That was the funniest thing I've seen all day”.  This extra break allowed me to time to get my Tylenol goodness, recap the bottle and hand it back to its rightful owner before she got off at the eighth floor and I carried on to my penthouse on the 10th floor knowing that my headache was about to get its ass-kicked by not just regular Tylenol but high-test Tylenol Cold for Nighttime ™! )

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