This was a conference of firsts for me! As first time Midwest member and a first time meeting attendee, I was also lucky enough to be traveling to North Dakota for the first time as well. And, perhaps it was beginners luck, but the lucky firsts continued throughout the trip and conference.
Without the generosity of the Midwest Chapter’s Scholarships I wouldn’t have been able to attend. So I was truly grateful and honored to receive one of the first time attendee awards. It meant a lot to my whole institution: in addition to all the conference firsts, I’m one of three librarians at a brand new medical school in its very first semester. I had a lot of questions for my peers! (Thank you to everyone who was kind enough to troubleshoot all of my problems! All of you are awesome!)
The flight into Bismarck was a delightful first of being on a plane half full of librarians and half full of pheasant hunters. And I think that has to be the first time I have had such a delightfully short trip from airport to hotel: so convenient! I will forever jealously remember the ten minute ride in Bismarck whenever I am stuck in traffic on the way to O’Hare.
Exploring all the shops and restaurants around the hotel was equally delightful and delicious. I think everyone enjoyed the dining circles (as pictured above during one of the groups in Peacock Alley), especially for the firsts of trying buffalo burgers. With everything just a short walk from the hotel, it made it fun for exploring between sessions.
The final and most glorious first was that of receiving a mustache! Who new just sticking mustaches on all parties resulted in a perfect ice breaker? Along with the casual dress code, the mustached crowd made for a relaxed, fun atmosphere. A wonderful way to start a first Midwest Chapter meeting! I hope it’s the first of many, many more.