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NC SCHOOL LIBRARY MEDIA ASSOCIATION





I wasn't prepared

31 Aug 2023 8:40 PM | Kristy Sartain (Administrator)

I already knew I wouldn't be good at planning a conference. When I get overwhelmed, I tend to shut down and go into survival mode. You can't plan a conference when you do that. If it weren't for the team of AMAZING people helping with this thing, it wouldn't have gone on. Heck, it still might not just because I have something to do with it.

But I was really not prepared for the sheer number of e-mails I would be receiving, especially as it got closer. The number of people who wait until the last second to respond when given a deadline, or who reply after the deadline. The number of people who don't respond at all, causing even more work on our end. We are currently at 415 people registered, an increase of like 45 in the last couple of days, which is awesome. However, I already ordered swag and now I don't think I ordered enough. There are a number of checks either in the mail or about to be mailed and while I have been giving as much grace as I absolutely can, there are deadlines for a reason. We have to pay real bills and real people to put on this conference. Attending the conference is always the highlight of my year and I'm hoping it is the same for others. But planning something this big for this many people when you have a full time job and a ton of personal things going on is not for everyone. Heck, it's probably not for MOST people. Today alone I received 34 e-mails to my NCSLMA e-mail address that needed to be answered. Thank goodness my district made it a remote learning day so I could actually answer them. Can you imagine a school librarian in the midst of giving out Chromebooks or starting the school year and having to answer 34 additional e-mails from the ones they receive from their school e-mail? That's why I can't get to everyone in less than 48 hours and why e-mails get buried so quickly.  

I am looking forward to the conference so much because I love going and seeing everyone there. It's a great time for camaraderie and learning and for some of us who live far apart, the only time all year we get to see each other in person. Right now, though, I want to cry. And y'all - I have freaking amazing help. These conference chairs and committees are KILLING it. I cannot imagine planning this behemoth without help. Just today, I remember I have to order three things that are pretty important to the conference - badge tags, signage, and ID tags. They have been on my list for weeks to order. I remembered today. Have I done it? Nope. Will I do it this weekend? I hope so. Probably. Someone text me on Saturday and remind me. :-) 

I did order the swag this week. It probably won't be enough. I received an e-mail from the company I ordered them from asking if I had a loading dock because one of the items will have to come on a pallet because of the quantity. Um, at my house? A loading dock? *sigh* No. So now they have to send a special truck. So everyone better love these freaking NCSLMA bags with the embroidered logo. I don't want to hear a single negative thing about them. The only thing I should hear is that they are absolutely perfect. hahahahahahahahahahaha

Apparently I'm going slightly manic. Honestly, I don't know if that's new and/or when it started. Definitely before today. I got a massage today and the lady (who prefers being called a Bodywork Therapist and I'm loving that) said she was very worried about the amount of stress in my shoulders and neck. Yup. You and me both. But come October 8, I can breathe again. Maybe even sleep all the way through the night. 

I absolutely love NCSLMA. Seriously, one of the greatest things that ever happened to me professionally was being chosen for the Leadership Academy in 2019 for the 2020 inaugural cohort. The friends I made in that group and the opportunities that have come from it have been immeasurable. I will do anything for this organization. Just please don't ask me to plan a conference ever again. Please. Pretty please. With whipped cream on top. 



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