ALA Personal Tech Review

I’ll blame the Pen Addict podcast (seriously, listen! It’s fun listening to people who are excited about anything, even if you think pens aren’t your thing) for making me want to spend a little time blogging about stationery.

This is what I said I was taking to my conference, updated to reflect what I actually used.

  • 2 reporter-style 4 x 8 notebooks
  • 1 Pilot G2 blue pen
  • 1 Pilot G2 mechanical pencil
  • Fisher Space pen
  • Business cards
  • Nexus 5
  • External USB backup battery
  • 2 micro-USB cables and 1 two-port charger
  • Apple bluetooth keyboard (so I can use the phone to blog if I am so inclined)

I said I might take some 3 x 5 Field Notes books instead of the reporters, and I did. My idea of wearing a blazer collided messily with 110 degree heat in Vegas, so I wanted more portability.

No backpack. No laptop. Just my phone, a battery, a pen, and a pocket notebook. The only thing annoying to carry was my sunglasses, but that annoys me every day. The backup battery was the only thing I wouldn’t carry on an ordinary day.

It worked really, really well. The convention center was well-stocked with PCs, and I borrowed the ALA office and the business center to do a couple of things. Thanks to the cloud this was no problem. I chaired a meeting, wrote a talk, and did some ALA work to support my interest group with no problem. Writing up my (much briefer) notes afterward also went rapidly.

First ALA in a long time my back hasn’t cried out for mercy by the end of day 2. It will be very hard to persuade myself to carry more in the future, because ALA Annual is usually the most demanding conference I go to, work-wise and technology-wise. I am very glad I finally tried this.

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Boston area academic librarian and instructional designer. News junkie. Fan of marine mammals, October.