The location ... San Francisco is one of the most beautiful and forward-thinking cities in the world. I never get tired of opportunities to visit and enjoy its unique Victorian architecture straddling its hills; striking views of the bay, ocean, and bridges; and lively atmosphere and people-watching. As I tweeted Friday morning during a visit to the Ferry Building before heading over to the conference:
Doesn't get prettier than this!! San Francisco for #alaac15
The time ... The timing for the conference was perfect. Friday morning, June 26, the Supreme Court announced its ruling on Obergefell v. Hodges, making same-sex marriage legal in every state of the United States. It seemed that all of San Francisco was abuzz with excitement about this landmark decision.
The keynoter ... Then that afternoon, the ALA conference opened with keynote speaker Roberta A. Kaplan, the attorney who argued before the Supreme Court in 2013 on behalf of the previous landmark case for gay rights which struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
Getting to hear Kaplan's personal story and her perspective on how positive legal changes can and do come about and the progress that has been made in protecting gay rights was inspiring and especially moving on such an historic day. It's so easy to get discouraged about all the inequities, injustices, and prejudices our nation can't seem to address or eliminate. Kaplan reminded us that positive change can happen, both in our legal system and peoples' attitudes. Here was one of my tweets during the session:
Heartening 2 hear Roberta Kaplan share her experiences, peoples' ability 2 grow, change, today's decision #alaac15
The time, the location ... And, two days later on Sunday, San Francisco's annual Gay Pride Parade passed just blocks away from the Moscone Center, giving conference goers an easy opportunity to view the parade and witness the amazing positive energy of the crowd. Everyone was in a great mood; everyone was courteous. Although my view of the parade itself was poor, being about four rows back from the curb, so my photos were also poor, the experience was no less exciting.
Here were my tweets from the parade:
(That's me with Rosemarie Bernier and Marcy Drexler, both teacher librarians from Los Angeles USD.)
I'll be working on more posts with other personal highlights of the conference, but I wanted to start off with this short one sharing why being at this conference in this time and place felt so special. As I posted on Twitter Saturday morning:
I was also super jazzed to have Roberta Kaplan favorite and retweet this!
Thanks to the American Library Association and all its leadership and conference planners, San Francisco, Roberta Kaplan, and the Supreme Court for making this a very special time for me!