Today as I walked in to work I was barraged by the enormous Salesforce conference (50,000 attendees!) in downtown San Francisco. This is the type of conference that defies all of my previous event experiences: a closed-off street covered with sod to create a "park" where participants can mingle and watch a presenters in front of a big screen; conference personel greeting me as I walk down the sidewalk (that was kinda nice); trucks with huge billboards advertising booth numbers and products that circle endlessly around the conference city blocks; groups of men and women in suits staring at smartphones and giving bro-hugs...
As I dodged the people and advertisements and media, all I could think of was how happy I was to be attending the Association of Rural and Small Libraries conference next week where none of this will happen. Really, really, happy.
If you haven't been to the ARSL conference, you're missing out. This event feels like a small town: friendly faces, relaxed environment, no ads, no suits, and definitely no bro hugs, because rural librarians give good, authentic, warm hugs. If you haven't yet hugged a rural librarian, I invite you to try it.
See you in Raleigh!