So, let me start by saying “I missed RB!” Since the trip for the Music Library Association conference was work-related, I decided to get a rental. They gave me this monstrous six-passenger mini-van that I had to get used to driving. Discovered halfway there that I had put the van into S4, which is better suited for mountain driving and burns gas like crazy. The vehicle was okay, but I just didn’t have fun driving it like I normally do with RB.
This is, basically, the trip route:
Anyway, the conference was headquartered at the Hilton Netherland Plaza in the middle of Cincinnati. Arrived much later than I’d planned–partially due to missing my I-74 exit in Indianapolis and taking a much longer trip around their beltway than expected, so I missed visiting the Underground Railroad museum (will have to make a later trip to get it done).
Thursday, March 3
At previous conferences, I’ve been fairly quiet, but not this one–not by any stretch of the imagination! Started with the opening plenary session on Thursday morning. The Diversity Committee presented a panel on efforts to increase minority representation in the association. All of the panelists were either current or future librarians, so I stood before the entire assembly and asked about another underrepresented group: the paraprofessionals who work at various music libraries. The rest of the day was pretty quiet, filled with meetings primarily about music cataloging–which I won’t bore you with–and ended with what was to be my only rehearsal with the gentleman who was to accompany me in performance Friday morning.
It snowed most of the day, so I stayed inside the hotel.
Friday, March 4
Got off to an especially early start to allow myself time to dress appropriately to perform but still be comfortable for a long day of sessions. Plus, I was scheduled to run the meeting of the Paraprofessional Interest Roundtable and host a dinner that evening (more about that later).
The performance was the first attempt by the organizers to present performances by association members during the coffee break between morning sessions. I had selected a five-song set called Five Creek-Freedmen Spirituals by Margaret Bonds because it’s, unfortunately, fairly unknown, and could hopefully be presented with the limited rehearsal time we’d have available. We were set up in a high-traffic area and would have to perform around the noise and movement. I have a big voice but I was frankly worried that we would be drowned out by the noise. Fortunately, the audience was very supportive, and we were somehow heard (at least based on the many positive comments we got later, I presume so).
The afternoon meeting focused on how parapros might become more active in the association. An approach was agreed upon that will keep me pretty busy over the next year, but if it works out, it’d be worth it.
Then, finally, the really fun part of the evening: the first gathering of LLAP–Live Long and Prosper! A few of us Trekkers met in the hotel lounge for dinner and talked of Star Trek past and future–the shows, movies, books, and trivia. I had a great time and hope it becomes a regular part of the national conference.
Got to bed fairly early–for me, anyway–because my presentation was set for Saturday morning at 9:00 a.m. Again, I kept to the hotel all day.
(see Part 2)
My playlist was very handy, saving me from trying to change radio stations while high-speed driving in an unfamiliar vehicle.
The drive into Cincinnati was coincidentally accompanied by songs by the band, Chicago, appropriate since much of the trip took me through Illinois. Their music was interspersed with recordings by Cindy Lauper, Chuck Berry, Count Basie, …