Do you remember the first time you attended an AALL conference and visited the exhibit hall? I do. Let me set the scene: as a recent library school graduate without a job, I was on a mission to network, interview for jobs, visit the exhibit hall, and oh yeah, attend the sessions. As someone who is hard of hearing, I was also stressed about how I would successfully navigate those stressful situations.
First, the networking: much of the networking at AALL happens at random times, like in passing on the way to a meeting, at a vendor-sponsored happy hour, or after an SIS-sponsored roundtable. All of these situations are fraught for several reasons – noise, lack of ability to lip read, and unpredictable seating. Sometimes it’s impossible to find quiet areas to talk; sometimes no seats are facing each other, and large gatherings – even professional ones – are loud. With