I am by nature a very introverted person in real life. But it seemed quite a waste to travel over 10,000 miles to be a wall flower so I did my best to come out of my shell. Fortunately, everyone was very friendly, in particular I got a very warm welcome at Broussard for the LJ Movers & Shakers Lunch , where Ellen Forsyth (the Australian Mover & Shaker) and myself got loud cheers for making it all the way from outside the US.
Some high points, meeting Buffy Hamilton (who really really lives life to the fullest and is my inspiration) for the first time, sharing a cab back and chatting for a short while about life.
Take more photos!
I'm not much of a party animal but I enjoyed in particular the Tweetup organised by Bohyun Kim (ALA emerging leader and who invited me to a really useful interest group discussion on mobile she was chairing). After a few hours, we all moved over to another even bigger party ALA Facebook After Hours Social , which was even more wild.
On Saturday, I met among others UK Librarians Jo Alcock, Dave Pattern (really admire his work on Summon and his study on how usage of library resources is correlated with university honours class), he deserves every award he has ever won and more ), Joan Starr (from CDL who explained to me about how University of California Libraries are organized which believe it or not was quite interesting to me), Ranti Junus (we compare notes on Twitter quite a bit because we use the same systems), Aaron Dobbs (the "other Aaron" who is even wackier than I expected), Steve Teeri (we spoke a bit about conditions in DC, we librarians in Singapore are fortunate), Steven Harris (I remember a fairly geeky discussion among 6 of us at lunch discussing Twitter clients on android!), Andy Burkhardt (who I always envied his cool emerging tech librarian title on top of having an award winning blog), Jenny Reiswig, Lauren Dodd & Annie Pho (Some of the people behind the great Hack Library School).
I also met Andromeda Yelton (a quarter of the team behind Buy India a Library) and found out she was now with Gluejar, which is sort of like a KickStarter for books.
It was particularly nice to meet briefly Mary Axford from Georgia Institute of Technology who nudged me (on facebook) to the right places to learn about Discovery tools when I first started getting interested a while back. Back then she mentioned this session almost a year ago and I never dreamed that I would actually be there in person to watch it!
Because I had contacts via Twitter/Facebook it was relatively easy to strike up conversations with people you "know" online (kinda), but I did run into people I have had no prior contact and coincidentally, I ended up talking about Summon to most of them.
Dave Pattern I knew was a Summon Guru of course, but I also ran into Win Shih from University of Southern California at the international librarian corner. His institution is a fellow institutional member of PRDLA (Pacific Rim Digital Library Alliance), and we had a good talk about the problems with east asian languages in Summon.
Was really looking forward to the night tour that was supposed to bring you to the most haunted parts of the city but it was pouring so heavily (I didn't fancy crawling around the graveyard in the mud!), I had to turn back.
If there is one lesson I learnt it is that conferences are not a matter of squeezing in as many conference sessions into the trip.