July 21, 2024

ALA/ISTE 2012: Conference Survival Guide | ALA Annual 2012


Feeling a bit stressed? With two big events upon us—ALA and ISTE—we need all the help we can get. The following sources can help you pack, spec your tech, and survive airport hell.

Do you have good advice or a link you’d like to share with your fellow travelers? Please contribute in the comments.


ALA Survival Tips and Packing Suggestions

A very thorough packing list, tech and otherwise, by Bobbi Newman of “Librarian by Day.”

Daring Conference Packing Tips & Tricks

By Gwyneth Jones of “The Daring Librarian.” Yes, our red-headed friend packs her own Charmin.

The Introverted Nerd’s Conference Survival Guide

Steel-up-your-courage advice by SXSW-bound former Lifehacker editor Gina Tripani.

A Conference Survival Guide for the Shy and Terrified

“Tweet. Don’t sit with your friends. Pretend you are Superman.” By Sara Gallagher.

How to be Awesome at Going to Library Conferences

Sound ALA-specific tips from PC Sweeney.

Remote attendance at ISTE

Can’t get there in person? ISTE offers three modes of remote participation on one handy page. Every organization should have one.



A Fashionista’s Conference Survival Guide

By digital strategist CamMi Pham, who states in her bio “will work for shoes.”

Why I Wear The Same Thing Every Day, And What I Wear

On the opposite side of the style spectrum is the minimalism of Web designer Timoni West. Great rundown of the best leggings. She’s apparently tried them all.


General Travel

Airport Dining

This site reviews the chow served in terminals worldwide.

Errata Security: The hotel WiFi is out to get you!!

As if it wasn’t bad enough.

What Drink Do You Order at a Bad Bar?

Twenty five food writers share their safety drinks.

How to Sleep in an Airport: 101


Cheat with Science: Navigate the Great Indoors

Turn-by-turn navigation is a big help, I’ve found, even when on foot in strange cities. But what if you can’t find your way in the convention center? Wired on training your brain to get around.

Chris Brogan: Tips for Flying

Give crying kids and their parents a break; if someone on board needs help with their bag, offer it. Good for you, Chris.


What’s in my bag

  • Thirteen-inch MacBook Air
  • Incipio OffGrid Pro – two external batteries to charge my iPhone 4s, slightly less than the promised tripling of capacity, according to iLounge. Love that they’re removable.
  • Panasonic Lumix GH2K DSLR
  • Vivitar flash unit – the classic reliable
  • Rode compact shotgun mic – maybe, maybe not – the native mic on the Lumix is great – check out the clip we shot of our DOD panel
  • Manfrotto stick tripod
  • Belkin mini surge outlet
  • Kodak Zi8 pocket camcorder (OK, no support for this, but it’s better than iPhone footage)
  • Ethernet/USB cable – for uploading HD files – I learned the hard way at CES
  • Audio Technica QuietPoint ATH-ANC7b – noise-cancelling headphones, a godsend antidote to engine roar, always with me.
  • Voice recorder (an oldie, but goodie Olympus)

Apps include:


FiRe recording app

Despite all the photo equipment, Instagram

Paper pad, pen (Pentel EnerGel pen, quick drying ink for lefties! (If they ever discontinue these, I’ll stop writing).

Backpack, unstructured, black cotton from Muji

Hypochondriac alert: zinc, probiotics (Primal Defense) (even this did not save me from being sick as a dog at DML)

Junior Mints: My one little airport treat, every trip.

Shoes. Librarians like them apparently. Buffy Hamilton has such pretty feet. Me, not so much, so I’m going for it, but the other way, bringing the ugliest shoes I have. Find me and I’ll prove it. But don’t say you weren’t warned.


“Monday NECC 2008” by krossbow.

Airport food by I Should Be Folding Laundry.

Junior Mints by BLW Photography.

Kathy Ishizuka About Kathy Ishizuka

Kathy Ishizuka (kishizuka@mediasourceinc.com, @kishizuka on Twitter) is Executive Editor of School Library Journal.