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Yesterday, I participated in the Arizona Library Association’s Annual Conference in Tucson. It was my first time presenting in a poster session capacity. My topic? The Literati; my awesomely large adult book club! Naturally, I wore what an self-respecting librarian wears to a professional conference: an Egyptian outfit! When I host my book club at the library I am always in costume, so if I was going to do something Literati-related, regardless of the location, I felt it was only fitting to don a fabulous outfit. I chose my wardrobe with care, specifically to draw attention to my library, the poster, and myself.  Needless to say, it worked!

I had about a dozen people come over to me in the course of the thirty minutes just to take a picture of me or with me. Lots of business cards were handed out! My poster, I noticed, was very different from the others which were flat posters to be hung on the board full of texts, resources, and websites. My poster did not have that much text, as I wanted people to talk to me. I approached the design as a Power Point presentation, enough to whet the appetite but the meat of the information was through my speech.

I am  hoping to submit this topic again in the future for a lecture length presentation. Poster session people are 2nd Place Presenters (in a good way!). Hundreds of presentations were submitted and the entire Arizona Librarian Association membership votes on what they want to hear. Some were selected for full length power point lectures and only nine of us just missed the cut off for that honor, but still had enough votes to present, the rest the submissions were shelved. Meaning, a poster session is a great way to get my foot in the door, practice my pitch, and get the information out there! It was great!

Since, I have every intention of presenting on the Literati next year, I did not divulge all my secrets. Is that in bad taste? Maybe, but once I am allowed to have the spotlight for an hour, I’ll hand out all that information so others can replicate my success. This is why my costume and spaz-tastic personality was key for this conference. A bouncy Egyptian in a sea of suits is not something that will be easy to forget. . .  Let’s hope this works to my benefit the next time around. Fingers crossed!

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