This past week I had the pleasure of attending VRA + ARLIS/NA 2011, the 2nd joint conference of the Visual Resources Association and Art Libraries Society of North America. Thank you to the Caroline Backlund Award Committee as well as the generous contributions of the ARLIS/DC-MD-VA Chapter for their support of the Caroline Backlund Professional Development Award, of which I’m a recipient. This award has made it possible for me to attend the national conference this year and I’m excited to report on my experiences here on our chapter blog.

Flight from DC to Minneapolis

Conference Blog, Part I: Arriving in Minneapolis

After a few delays from Reagan National, I finally made it to Minneapolis on Wednesday evening. Sarah Osborne Bender was a great travel companion, as were all of the friendly people I met once we touched down. Minnesotans are a very welcoming bunch—a woman on the light rail gave me directions, suggested places to eat, and pointed out the collapsed football stadium dome (it fell in under the weight of too much snow)! Like many other locals, she attempted to convince me it was “spring” last week in Minneapolis.

Descending into snowy Minneapolis

To be honest, I kind of like the snow. It’s very pretty, and not actually that cold.

One tram, light rail, and cab ride later, I made it to the Hilton and checked into my room with my roommates–three lovely, smart and ambitious MLS/MA dual degree candidates at Indiana University. (I already miss you, Anna, Emilee & Alyssa!) I crashed pretty early, in preparation for four days of meeting new people and learning new things.

View from my hotel room on the 10th floor of the Hilton

Next up: volunteering at the registration desk and a tour of the Minnesota Center for Book Arts!

-Emily Hunter, 2011 Caroline Backlund Award recipient