Rock on: the ALA 2013 student to staff experience

Each year 40 library students are chosen to assist ALA staff during ALA Annual Conference as a part of the Student-to-staff program. In exchange for working four hours a day, these students receive free conference registration, housing, and a per diem for meal expenses. During free time, they may attend programs and participate in other conference activities.

Sounds like a sweet deal, right? Let me be the one to tell you that it certainly is.

Lyndsay Faye, Matti Friedman, Peter Heller, Jonathan Tropper, Richard Ford, Timothy Egan.  These authors were the rock stars of my trip to the 2013 ALA conference. Not only did I hear them speak at the “Literary Tastes” event and the Carnegie Award Ceremony, respectively, but I also received personalized signed copies of their books. I saw them up close. I shook their hands. Sigh.

These experiences happened because the rock stars of ALA, RUSA, and ASCLA made it possible:  Don, Melissa, Susan, Liz, Leighann and Andrea. Thanks so much for giving me and my cohort, Jay, the most amazing opportunities possible at ALA. While we worked as  Student-to-Staffers, we networked, formed solid relationships with other librarians, and learned about how a huge conference functions with the enormous dedication of staff and volunteers.

I also want to acknowledge Wayne State University, which I proudly represent, along with Dr. Holley, the faculty advisor of the ALA student chapter on campus. Thank you Xs infinity for selecting me to attend ALA Chicago 2013!

Michelle Scobie
MLIS candidate
Wayne State University

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