Where did you get that bag?

Day one of the Ontario Library Association  Super Conference 2009 turned out to be exhausting, exhilarating, educational and enjoyable!  We managed to pull ourselves out of bed early to stop in the restaurant in our hotel for a great buffet breakfast before making the longish trek to the convention center. Since the snowstorm the day before, we were happy to be able to walk  completely indoors, which also let us leave our coats back at the hotel.  We were in for some interesting sessions and we were also going to attend the  Expo 2009 Tradeshow.


Expo 2009 Tradeshowpicture-112

The tradeshow was pretty exciting.  We watched everyone setting up the day before, thinking that there weren’t very many complete displays, so the people working each booth must have arrived quite early on Thursday morning to complete everything.  There were booths dedicated to computer equipment, library software and hardware, furniture, electronics and of course, books.  There were many author signings taking place all day and through Friday as well.  If w saw a line up, we’d just get in line. Most times, there would be a give-away like a great bag or some free books and you could stop and talk with an author for a few moments, which was interesting.  We picked up lots of information, brochures, bookmarks and free bookbags, like the one you see here:

picture-128This one seemed to be a conference favourite, given out by Kids Can Press. A few of my favourite characters like Scaredy Squirrel and Stanley adorn the bag and many people stopped to ask where we got the bag.  (This was one we lined up for without really knowing what they were giving out at the booth, but we were excited once we got ours)!

The expo was a great way to meet vendors that we might not normally encounter and we had quite a few great discussions about some new products. The fabulous microfilm scanner and the Playaway audio books were the highlight for us that day.  We also made a few purchases for our children’s area, but you’ll have to pop in to see them in a few weeks once they arrive.  They’ll stay a surprise until then!

The Expo people had a cafe set up so that all of us could get a little something to eat or drink (although we found the line ups a bit long and didn’t try anything), and this year, internet computers were arranged so that we could stop and check email.   It was  great to be able to keep in touch and check up to see what we might be missing while at the conference. And let me just say that I have decided that you can make any event extra special with a live jazz band!

Janet and I spent a couple of hours just wandering around from booth to booth talking with authors, vendors and old friends.  We also filled out a million entry forms for the great prizes that were being offered, but sadly, we weren’t any of the lucky winners this year.  Congratulations to Debra and Karen from Smiths Falls Public Library though!  Out of the 5000+ librarians attending, they both won a prize! (At least they didn’t have to lug anything really heavy back on the train. Although one of the coveted prizes was a Wii, I couldn’t imagine having to sit with that for three hours on a crowded train!)

I’ll let you in on the great sessions I attended later!