Counting Down to the Conference

Fall is in the air! Which means that it is time for the 2009 version of our annual Midwest Chapter conference. On Friday, your intrepid blog editor drove to Columbus for the last Conference Planning Committee meeting. It was a beautiful morning for a drive. On my way to Columbus from my home in Dover I drove through the lovely river valleys of east central Ohio. In the low morning light, the trees were infused with early autumn deep orange and red hues. The fields of corn were a beautiful antique gold and the bean fields a bright true yellow.
We are really excited about the conference and can’t wait to see you there! Have you seen the program? There are going to be some fabulous special events in addition to the top quality professional programming. The conference festivities will kick off on Saturday evening with a “Caribbean Night ” themed Welcome Reception that you won’t want to miss. New members and first time conference attendees are invited to come early at 5:30 with their conference mentors and meet the chapter and MLA officers. At 6:00 the festivities will officially begin with the opening of exhibits. Plan on feasting there on island food and drink and meeting the vendors in the exhibit area. Our musical entertainment for the evening is steel drummer Deighton Charlemagne a St. Lucia native who plays everything from reggae to calypso and other island classics. Your intrepid blog editor is practicing her famous dancing moves! The good times will last until 7:30. After that, you will want to join the crowd going to the Gallery Hop in the Short North Arts District. The Hospitality Committee has made transportation arrangements just for you.
You can start Sunday morning out right by participating in the escorted Sunrise Walk past downtown Columbus landmarks. Meet in the Registration area at 6:30. Walkers will receive a t-shirt courtesy of sponsor OhioHealth. Then follow up your exercise with the “Stay Fit” healthy breakfast in the exhibit area before going upstairs to the Governor’s Ballroom to hear plenary speaker Clifford Stoll kick start the conference with his high energy presentation.
Sunday evening’s special event will be at the Ohio Statehouse just across the street from our conference hotel. You’ll enjoy tours of the recently restored building and new museum. Mix and mingle in the stately Rotunda and enjoy a fabulous Italian dinner in honor of the city’s namesake Genoese navigator Christopher Columbus in the Atrium.
On Monday evening you are invited by the Hospitality Committee to dine in historic German Village south of downtown. After dinner, you’ll just have to visit the amazing Book Loft one of the country’s largest independent bookstores with 32 rooms of books and other goodies. You’ll want to sign up at the Hospitality desk for transportation and dinner reservations.
Sounds like fun? You betcha!

Who will be at the Midwest Chapter conference?

Today I found out about four award winning people who will be attending the conference. Awards & Scholarships Chair Sheryl Stevens sent an announcement of the winners of this year’s $500 chapter conference attendance stipends. Drum roll please! The recipients of this year’s Annual Meeting Scholarships are Peggy Gross, a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Andy Hickner, a graduate student at the University of Michigan. The winners of this year’s Professional Development Awards are Kacy Allgood, Indiana University School of Medicine Library, Indianapolis, and Dee Disardina, University of North Dakota SW Campus, Bismarck. Congratulations!
For those of you still considering attending the conference, here are a couple of reminders. If you register for the conference BY TOMORROW SEPTEMBER 9TH you can still get the “early bird” registration discount of $50. And tomorrow is also the deadline to be guaranteed the conference hotel room rate of $124/night at the fabulous Hyatt on Capitol Square. After tomorrow, the conference room block will be released and the Hyatt cannot guarantee a room reservation to people who are attending our conference. So take no chances and make those room reservations right now!
And lastly, have you noticed all the recent updates to the conference website? The abstracts of the contributed papers and list of the poster presentations have been added. And for those of you who will be traveling to Columbus by airplane, there is information about airport shuttle and taxi service.