Really one of the most important things about attending a conference is getting the free stuff. So I will attempt to highlight some of the things you can take home with you if the idea of pens, post it notes, and advance reading copies of books make your heart go pitter-pat.
The Tote Bags
ALA totebags are vitally important because many librarians seem to have some sort of shopping block that prevents them from actually going out and purchasing a stylin’ totebag, so they rely on what they pick up at conferences. I will admit I use some conference totebags around the house to store some of my knitting projects.
For the well-accessoried librarian at the midwinter meeting, I think there are two main options, the OCLC Worldcat flimsy backpack, and the Webfeat black totebag. The OCLC bag is basically the same rectangular bag with the OCLC logo along the side you may have seen in past years, except now there is a flap added with some straps at the back to turn it into a backpack. I do not know the source of these bags, there were many of them at the program I attended earlier this evening.
The Webfeat totebag almost looks like a normal bag. It is black, the handles seem sturdy, and you can turn the logo so it faces your body and you don’t look as much like you are in town for the conference, maybe. I can attest that you can use it to haul a good amount of books.
So the most important part of the exhibit hall for me is usually the comic book vendors. They seem to be located near each other so you can get blasted with comic book goodness.
The best booth for free stuff is the Diamond Comics/Dark Horse/Image Comics one (2232).
They were giving away:
Ultimate Spiderman: Power and Responsibility (this collects issues 1-7, which I already have, but what the hey)
Trigun Maximum 1 (also already have, but maybe one of my sisters will want this)
Gamerz Heaven (from ADV Manga)
The Dark Horse Book of Hauntings (nice hardcover anthology)
Viz and Toykopop were giving away preview anthologies and a short preview of the girl with her ferret american manga Peach Fuzz.
At every ALA conference there is some bit of swag that makes you go Huh. One year, it was the Gossip Girl lipgloss. Another year there were tiny pink thongs promoting a book that was trying to cash in on the Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging brit chick lit for teens trend.
This year the weird item of swag is a stuffed doggy poo which I guess is a animated show from Central Park Media that tells this story:
Everybody has a purpose . . .
Once upon a time, a little doggy poo lived on the side of a road. He felt all alone in the world. He believed that nobody needed him for anything, and that he had no purpose in life. If only Doggy Poo had a reason for being, then he wouldn’t give up on his dream to be useful to the world.
One day, Doggy Poo meets a lovely dandelion sprout. Will she explain his purpose in life? Will she help make his dream come true?
You can get your very own Doggy Poo at the Diamond Comics booth (I think).