There’s plenty of advice around for first-time conferencegoers, and it was flowing fast and furious at the New Members Reception Wednesday evening at the convention center in Portland. Among the standards (wear comfy shoes, thank the vendors, don’t wear the badge on the street) Sally Decker Smith gave to the almost 100 people gathered were some truly useful, notably, to make notes so you remember what you learn here "to justify your existence at the library back home" and to talk to strangers. "The people wearing these badges are not the strangers your mother warned you about," she quipped. Sarah Vilimek, Megan Brandmaier, and Brian Guenther (pictured l. to r.) were among those taking her up on that advice.
But the most insight into the promise of this conference came from Portland Walking Tours’ David Schargel, a transplant from Brooklyn who has called this city his home for 15 years. He focused on the things you need to do to be a local. Ride the trains, not cabs; explore the "liquid assets" (coffee, beer, wine, and products of the new distillery craze); taste from the "extraordinary" food scene; and first and last, he said, "don’t do the umbrellas."
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