ILA was really fun this year. It was also my first year, so I don’t really have a frame of reference. I enjoyed it more than ALA though. It was more intimate, and I feel that a lot of the sessions I went to at ILA had programs that I could put on tomorrow if I had the resources.
In a state that is struggling as much as Illinois is, it was great to see the efforts of librarians with little cash, but a lot of heart, luck, and creativity. The Battle of the Bands at Rockford Public Library was excellent. The animals and autism at Des Plaines was heartwarming. StoryTubes is extremely intriguing and cool. And StoryTubes can be done with minimal financial investment. All you need is a computer, a camera, and enthusiastic children.
My biggest takeaway from ILA was that Illinois librarians are really doing everything they can to serve the populous. I hope to do the same when I get out of school (and find a job).