Wednesday, October 24, 2007

MLA Tuesday Night - Wine Tour

This year at MLA they offered a tour of a local winery, in the New Ulm area. When I saw this, I thought, "Winery? Count me in!" So, I signed up, even though it would mean an extra night in Mankato and having to get to the Mankato Holiday Inn before 5:30, which would be something of a challenge given that my reference desk shift lasts until 3 p.m. so I wouldn't be able to leave until that was over.

I spent most of yesterday preparing a handout for the session I'm doing today. Nicole Herold, the Technical Services Manager at Ramsey County Library, and I are doing a session at 2:45 p.m. called, "Top 3 (Cataloging) Things to Spend Your Time On," and I was putting the finishing touches on a resource list while working on the reference desk. As soon as I was off the desk, I was printing my handouts, grabbing the box o' stuff that Tom had ready for me to bring down, and heading out the door to start the quest to get out of the cities.

A beautiful drive down 169 later, I made it to the Mankato Holiday Inn at about 5 p.m. Phew! Thanks to being a Priority Club member (I think I originally signed up at this Holiday Inn 10 years ago or so...), I got a free drink ticket to the bar. I pocketed that, thinking that will come in handy later. Got checked in, dropped off my stuff, and made it back to the lobby to hook up with the other wine tour goers.

So, who goes on a wine tour? Well, a real interesting bunch. Okay, so I'm not so fabulous with names, but there were at least two library directors on the tour, and a good mix of public and academic library workers (mostly librarians, I think, but of course no one had a big P for Paraprofessional on their chests or anything... We're all equal on a winery tour!).

I found myself sitting next to Daardi Sizemore, the Archives/Special Collections librarian , and Barb Bergman, Media Services librarian, both from MSU-Mankato. After going through the "what do you do?" conversation, Barb asked if we ever had interns that would be looking for things to do, because they had some projects... DINGDINGDING! Reason #1 for going on this tour - made a connection for future intern sites for program students or for graduates that may need some extra experience. Daardi and Barb are doing a session on Thursday on outreach with a book cart drill team... I would have never thought about going to that session until I was seated next to them, but they were so much fun that their session will rock, I'm sure. Reason #2 for going on this tour - find out about other sessions that sound good.

At the winery, I found myself sitting next to Marlene Moulton-Janssen, the library director for Anoka County Library. Nice connection to make to find out what jobs are available. She was extremely complimentary about the intern from our program they hosted last year (Nice job, Alice Lin!), which, as the internship coordinator, is nice to hear particularly when the comments were completely unsolicited. Also at the table were librarians from Minneapolis Public Library and Carver County Library. Not bad folks to talk to if you want to network and find out about what's going on in other metro area libraries. Three metro area public library systems were represented at our table - that doesn't happen every day! And, to get to chat over some good wine, and tasty food, so much the better.

By the way, the winery: Morgan Creek Vineyards at

My favorites were their Gewurztraminer and Saint John Reserve. Others around me seemed to really go for their Nova. Yes, a bottle of each of my favorites will come home with me.