I went to visit the ALA Annual Conference exhibit hall during the opening reception this evening and was reminded again of just how much of this conference is not directed at people like me. Two city blocks worth of exhibitors, and as far as I could tell not a single one of them selling anything that I need or could possibly use for my job.
Other than a few buttons and a National Book Festival poster to add to my collection of them (up to half a dozen now), I actually didn't pick up any swag this year. I just did a major cleaning out of closets this spring and gave away or tossed a bunch of old conference junk, so I'm trying to avoid acquiring more of it. I probably could have grabbed a few books, but I already have a pile of unread stuff, and no room on my bookshelves, so I left them for others to take.
Although I know that the exhibits are a highlight of the conference for some people, this year I just wasn't feeling that enthusiastic about them. Perhaps it was the result of going at the end of the day after a long week, or maybe free pens have just lost their appeal. Whatever the reason, now that I've done my walk through of the hall I can focus instead on attending sessions for the next three days.