Pre-Conference Day! Or Advocacy and Budgeting 101…I got up bright and early today. New Orleans has a great NPR station, so that helped me feel right at home as I was getting ready. I walked the three blocks down to the Astor Court hotel and found the ballroom where the pre-conference was taking place. The morning conference was on Advocacy for School Libraries and I really enjoyed it. There was a nice energy from the presenters and lots of great information and resources were shared. I sat next to fellow NBPTS Committee member and AASL Board Member Cassandra Barnett, who was her usual, cheerful, articulate self, and also saw Patt Moser from Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., who I had the pleasure of meeting at the AISL conference in Atlanta in April. There were lots of independent schools represented and we got together for the breakout session since our advocacy issues are different from those of public schools who deal with district issues and state funding recessions. I took copious notes and felt really good about the great ideas I got out of the workshop, so when it ended I felt really good heading out for lunch.
I didn’t feel like fast food so I headed two blocks up and popped into The Palace Café, which was recommended to me by a gentleman in the airport in Charlotte. They could only seat me at the “bar” which isn’t a liquor bar, but instead a bar that looks into the kitchen through a plate glass window – kind of like the Food Network with no sound. It was just fascinating watching this busy kitchen at lunchtime, and not feeling too adventurous, I ordered the chicken and lemonade. It took a little while, but it was worth it. My herbed rotisserie chicken on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus was UNBELIEVABLE – it was honestly the best chicken I have ever had. Ever.
I rolled back to the hotel and went to head up to the same ballroom I was in before, but ended up taking the wrong elevator. I wandered around soulless hotel corridors for 10 minutes, coming across the same non-English speaking housekeeping staff (why didn’t I take Spanish?!?) – it was a lot like the scene in This Is Spinal Tap where they are trying to find their way out of the basement to get on stage. I finally gave up, went back down to the lobby, and then found the right elevators and made it to the ballroom. Other people were delayed as well; so it hadn’t begun yet, thank heavens. I sat next to Patt Moser and learned all about this interesting method of student learning centered collection budgeting – the two presenters were professors from Drexel and they were very good – they certainly presented a ton of information in a compressed period of time. I am going to look for their book at the ALA Bookstore tomorrow.
I got back to the hotel and was so not hungry (that big lunch!) that I decided to just have something at the club level lounge and call it a day. Proceed to my riding in the elevator for 15 minutes trying to get the damn thing to accept my room key to get on the 42nd floor! It finally took someone else putting in their key to get me there. I am going to have to have my key looked at by the front desk tomorrow. Turns out that yesterday I missed the fact that there were the biggest cookies ever located in the lounge, so I casually took three of them back to my room and snacked while watching TV (the Oceans Eleven remake which is were I realize a certain Croatian boy might have gotten his inspiration for a certain duffel bag incident as one of the characters is smuggled out of a hotel in an athletic gear duffel – my God, he can’t even be original). The last half of the Bewitched remake (poor Nicole Kidman – I’m really pulling for her, more so after seeing this movie) and some Bill Moyers interviewing Salman Rushdie and I’m good. Off to shuffyland for me.