Do ALA Right: . . . and Night, by Kirby McCurtis

Angie told you how to make the most of every minute of your DAY at ALA, but y’all know some of the best networking, PLN building and unfortunate karaoke video evidence (Hi, Sophie!!) comes out at night. How do you know what parties to go to? How do you get invites?

Every great party I have ever attended at a conference, I got to by following Kirby McCurtis (@kirby_mcc) around. You guys know that Kirby is one of the best, right? She’s a killer storytime provider, social activist and friend. She is heavily involved in ALA and has impressed the hell out of a lot of really important people who might want to hire you someday. She is also more than willing to introduce everyone talented she knows to everyone important she knows. And she can dance. Basically, you need to cultivate her friendship, and then ask her about literacy outreach to teen moms, and then be in awe.

We asked her to tell us how you get into the best parties at ALA. Here’s what she said (GIFs, as per usual, are my own addition):

HOW TO DO ALA BY NIGHT, by Kirby McCurtis:

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!! No, not Back to School for all you readers with kids or Christmas/Hanukkah for all the “kids at heart.”  It’s Annual Conference time! Whether this is your first conference or you are a vet, remember one thing and one thing only: Ain’t no party like a library party. For reals. If you haven’t had the time of your life at at least one conference, where you woke up the next day with sore feet and no voice, then you have not been “conferencing” right. But have no fear! Me (Kirby) and Angie are going to give you a sneak peek at our social calendars for Vegas and you can join in the fun.

Angie and I agree that social success at conference comes down to two things:

1. Running your mouth and 2. Listening. That is it. No secrets other than talk to folks and listen to them. If you have something in common, fantastic! If not, move on.  Fake is not fun, and trust me–your kindred spirit is out there in the crowd.

I am heavily involved in ALA–I am on Council, NMRT board, and a few committees. Basically, for me conference is WORK time. I’m typically power walking from one meeting to another, trying to pop into a Conversation Starter or a Program as time permits. That means night time is my social networking time. I will go out every single night I’m in town, starting Thursday. This is the only time I can connect with folks that don’t have the same focus within ALA that I have and I cherish this time. If large groups are intimidating to you, bring a buddy. If you don’t think you will know anyone there, think of it as the perfect opportunity to meet someone new. And BE FLEXIBLE. This is what my schedule looks so far, but of course new invites can be accepted at any time 🙂


Thursday June 26, 2014

8:30 pm All Conference/ALA Think Tank Pre- Party Pub Crawl

This is the Conference kick off party and EVERYONE is invited. This is the only event that costs money (tickets are $42) but you get a heap of goodies for the cash, including:

  • Free Drinks
  • Drink specials
  • Menu discounts
  • Free appetizers
  • No cover charges
  • No lines to get in

If you have ever been the Vegas in the summer, and tried to hit a bar or club on the strip you know the no cover charges and no lines aspect of this deal is completely worth the money. Party starts at Blondies (Miracle Mile, Planet HWD)

Friday June 27, 2014

10:30 pm Urban Libraries Dance Party, Vince Neil’s Tatuado (Circus Circus)

This dance party happens every year and is always a good time, whether you are on the dance floor or not. This year’s host is Urban Libraries Unite, a group dedicated to reaching out into the community with creative tactics. I will be out on the dance floor so find me if Drake comes on.


Saturday June 28, 2014

9:00 pm Annual After Hours Party

If you’ve ever heard about a  Mango Languages party but didn’t get the invite, do a little happy dance, because this year you don’t need the VIP invite. Mango has joined with my favorite PAC EveryLibrary and Treehouse for the ALA14 After-Hours Party at The Arts Factory in Las Vegas.


Open bar and DJ courtesy of Treehouse and Mango. Bring your badge! Enough said.

The Arts Factory is conveniently located between the new strip and the old strip in the thriving Las Vegas Arts District. It’s public transportation and cab friendly. Donations for EveryLibrary are most welcome at the door.

Arts Factory Las Vegas
107 E Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89104

Monday June 30, 2014

5:30 pm Library Games

First there were the Olympic Games, then the Hunger Games became all the rage. Combine the two and you get The Library Games. Audience participation and voting will be crucial to the outcome, so make sure you are there!


8:00 pm Libraries Build Communities Social

Join Librarians Build Communities to enjoy laughs and conversation at the Laguna Champagne Bar on The Palazzo casino floor!

Posted on June 2, 2014, in Guest Posts and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. OK, Kirby and Angie are both REALLY making me wish that I were going to ALA this summer! I will make it one of these years, probably the next time it’s in Chicago, but I hope sooner!

  1. Pingback: The Coolest Things Happening IN VEGAS | Storytime Underground

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