Brash gets Brash at FLA

Hey gang!

So this has been quite an interesting week or three. I had the pleasure of attending the Florida Library Association for the fourth year in a row. Wow, I’ve been doing this stuff for that long? SWEET.

Getting in on Tuesday was a nice way to start the convention. The hotel was pretty rad, and the bed? SO SOFT. I felt like I was sleeping in a bottle of Dove moisturizer.

Aww yeah, look at that.

26th story, BOOM.

So the opening meeting was super fun! I had a chance to see Amy Herman once again, one of the greatest speakers I’ve ever seen. If her name sounds familiar to you, then you’ve probably read my post on her back in 2012 which can read here.  Amy Herman teaches Art of Perception, wherein she uses art for honing and heightening one’s observational powers, not letting any minute detail escape, and learning to clearly communicate observations to other people. She has trained detectives, doctors, CIA and FBI agents, emergency response personnel and more to be more aware and observant. YES, IT’S A CLASS ON HOW TO BE SHERLOCK HOLMES “I don’t like the words ‘obviously’ and ‘clearly’…what’s obvious to you may not be to other people. It’s your job to observe and  communicate – observation is a 24-hour job”, Herman remarks. Her website might describe it better than I can:

“The Art of Perception® is a proprietary training seminar that teaches professionals how to enhance their observation and communication skills. Since its inception in 2000, the Art of Perception has successfully trained thousands of professionals from a broad range of fields, including law enforcement, medicine, industry, and education. The program’s dual objectives are achieved by removing participants from their daily work environment and developing and improving observational skills that are relevant to their specific professions. Participants analyze works of art in a museum setting and present their observations to their colleagues, thereby improving their individual and collective abilities to discern the distinctions between perception and inference. As a result of this process, they learn to analyze, expand upon, and reconsider the skills necessary to perform their professional responsibilities.”

Ah, opening ceremony.

During this whole session, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Mary Jane, one of my super cool library peeps who has been helping me with all this fundraising hootenanny.


This is how we roll.

After Amy’s fantastic talk, we begin working our way through the posters and campaigns throughout the hall. While some were great, it’s really hard to beat Star Wars and Doctor Who.

I’m not afraid of you, Dalek

Chewie will rip that tin can to shreds.

After a little food, an extended workshop with Amy Herman where she concurred that the pillows and bed are made of cloud candy (and she’s read my blog, *squee*), and it’s off to the exhibition hall! You know what that means…FREE STUFF. And not just free stuff – contests to win even MORE free stuff! I’ve only just walked in when I get a paper for a scavenger hunt and an Instagram contest. That’s right, complete a series of pictures and post them to your Instagram account – first one to get theirs finished can win an Android tablet. ZOOM! I ran so fast, those letters almost blew over.

I didn’t even have an Instagram account…I had one 60 seconds later.

Photo with a WT Cox rep? Done.

Selfie with three other people from three different organizations? Check.

Get a picture with someone in a bow tie. Loop hole!

There were others, but let’s fast forward about 15 minutes to the part where I win – yahoo! Gimme that tablet!

“Sorry man, somebody beat you to the tablet over an hour ago.”

“…Oh, okay. Can I win anything else?”

“Sure, here’s the list of things to choose from!”

So let’s see…some jewelry…gift cards…free books…(come on, guys. I work in the library field, give me something other than books)…$25 cash…a Peterbrooke chocolate basket…

STOP. A basket full of chocolate? Say no more, good sir!

Way yummier than any tablet.

By now, the FSU student/alumni mixer is about to start. I shall take my prize back up the room before going. However…I’ve been trying to raise funds for FSU, and I’ve been trying to avoid sweets as I train for my next mud run (Spartan Super this Saturday, thankyouverymuch)…I have an idea.

I decide to bring the basket with me and see if I can auction it off at the mixer! What’s the worst that could happen? They tell me no and I have to eat my chocolate? Don’t throw me in the briar patch or anything.

The idea goes over very well, and the auction begins…$5, $10, $20, $25! That’s when Charlie Parker, in his own silly way, suggests that we crowd source the basket instead. Everyone pitch in and get some chocolate? It just might be crazy enough to work! We’ve got people throwing in 5s, 10s, 20s, and it’s time to break that basket open while the money keeps coming in. Come on, chocolate, do your thing.

You give money, you get chocolate. Sound investment. Mafe agrees.

Time to break this bad boy open with Dean Dennis while Mafe collects money!

While we started to break out the chocolate, Mafe brought me a stack of bills to count. I’m so gangsta with all this money! (Not really.)

The final amount…$232.00

Who would have thought that a basket of candy I won an hour ago playing Instagram would net their fund that much money. One basket! I have my clever and resourceful moments, what can I say?

Celebratory pic with Mafe and my new blue ascot! (Scooby snacks not included.)

And that was just Day One!

Day Two!

No longer in a rush to Instagram and win prizes, I decided it’s time to get the stuff I missed while in my rush for a tablet. I got to visit with my amazing friend and rep Jamie with Brodart. Libraries – if you don’t work with her, do so. She’ll amaze! I was impressed with some of the selection this year. One booth was making cookies! Not giving away cookies, MAKING them. The rep had a small oven in the back of the booth he was baking his cookies in. “Oh no, some of these cookies are broken! What do we do with the broken bits?”

Never fear, Cookie Man has arrived!

Macadamia nut never stood a chance.

“Oh my, how can we ever repay you?”

“…More cookies?”

(Okay, that last part didn’t happen.)

After having a few cookies, it was time to look at some of the cool toys, gadgets and free stuff being given away. Like slap bracelet flash drives!

On the right side is a flash drive…

…that slaps onto your wrist! I almost look tan there.

Upon finding sweet stuff, I tried to get them in 3s since I have a staff of 3. A captain share with his crew, what can I say? Add in another workshop here and there, and it’s up to the room before the President’s reception. Even there, you have to be on your toes.

Oh hi there, GIANT BIRD OF DOOM.

After that came drinks, food, ring tosses for wine bottles, silent auctions, and all the other good stuff. I also had the pleasure of seeing my good friend Rebekah! I haven’t seen her in almost three years, and it was time for some food, drink and catching up. I’m always happy for both the library and non-library fun I can have with good friends.

As I write this, FLA continues to follow me home! Pretty much every booth/event has a drawing/raffle/contest of some kind, and Carol over at DVA tracked me down to tell me that I’m now the proud owner of neon green Dr. Dre BEATS Mixr headphones! As for the free stuff I picked up…

…I think I had some happy staff when I came back.

Don’t worry, I’ll take pics when I get the headphones.  I’m leaving for Texas tomorrow morning for the Spartan Super race, stay sharp and stay brash while I’m gone!


Justin Brasher, Brash Librarian

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5 Responses to Brash gets Brash at FLA

  1. KM says:

    That’s so great you were able to auction off the chocolate! I love Charlie’s idea. Teamwork and sharing, so librarian! And, maybe the bird of doom was just a visiting Jungle Book character; we were at Disney 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the conference!

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