Planning for ALA 2015 in San Francisco #alaac15

ALA 2015 is coming fast: June 25-30 in beautiful San Francisco, California. For those of you who don’t already know, this conference coincides with SF’s annual Pride Parade. Remember the chaos and shuttle interruptions when Chicago threw the Blackhawks their Stanley Cup Parade a few years back during ALA in Chicago? This will be much worse. Sunday will probably be the most hectic but there are many pride-related events in the downtown area throughout the weekend.

So plan now! Because plan you must.

Most of the conference hotels are on the opposite side of the parade from the conference center, so you will want to get to the conference EARLY on Sunday (unless, of course, you are planning to watch the parade instead of conferencing). The parade starts at 10:30am and runs until at least 2pm. During that time is will be near-on impossible to cross Market Street on foot. You can technically go through the tunnels under the street but I hear that is slow and claustrophobic… plus, hotel shuttles running at that time will have to go around and fight traffic, making for a longer trip.

On Sunday, plan to go to the conference center and stay there for the day–only stepping outside to eat in the immediate area (eating recommendations will be in my next post). Thankfully, you won’t need to plan breakfast if you don’t want to: ALA has announced here that there is a FREE continental breakfast on Sunday from 9:30-10:30am in the exhibit hall. I assume this is ALA’s effort to get us to come to the conference instead of watching the parade (nice try). Keep in mind, too, that exhibits are closing earlier than usual (4pm) on Sunday “to help relieve outbound shuttle traffic from the convention center.”

Don’t forget to check out my general ALA tips in the sidebar. I update them as needed.

Here are the non-conference things I plan to do & see while I’m in San Francisco:

  • The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose is weird enough to be worth the public transit trip. I am into weird spots, and weird history so this piques my interest. If you don’t know the story behind this house and the eccentric Sarah Winchester, here it is. Anyone who commits to not sleeping in the same room two nights in a row in their own house is likely a fascinating character. #oddities #history
  • Baseball! See the Giants in AT&T Park – they’re home June 23-28. #sports
  • Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory Tour – taste some freshly made fortune cookies.
  • The Wave Organ – a sculpture created in the 1980s so that the ocean could create music when the tide comes in. #oddities
  • Ride the Cable Car – “the city’s only moving historic landmarks” #history

Here are my top three must-attend conference events:

  1. Sarah Vowell. I need not say more, she is awesome and I am excited. Saturday 12-1pm in Esplanade 305.
  2. LITA Happy Hour – Even if I were not super involved with LITA I would attend this event because it is 100% social and the people are great. You don’t have to be a member of LITA to attend. 5:50-8pm on Sunday at DaDa Bar, 86 2nd Street.
  3. Top Tech Trends – I swear I will make it to this year. I try to go most years but don’t always make it because of other obligations but when I get there it is so good! Beyond the conference website there is more info on this event here. #ALATTT
  4. I also WISH I could go the RDA #janeathon but I have other duties on Friday. I followed last year’s event on twitter and really enjoyed the comments and observations about what sounds like a fascinating event.

FOOD in San Francisco next…




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