Although these are often seen as purely social event, I find it to be the most important event of the entire conference. This is especially true if you are willing to step outside your comfort zone and sit at several tables throughout the evening. Last night I sat at five different tables. By doing so I was able to meet an author and have an in person conversation about his upcoming visit to our community. I was able to have a conversation with a public library director and share ideas about improving our Guys Read program. I was introduced to three school librarians I had never meet before. A fabulous discussion of collection development and integration of young adult fiction in the history curriculum ensued. Of course you can never go wrong when there are bag pipes. One of the things I love most about is AKLA is the opportunity to meet with old friends and former colleagues. Most often the new people I meet that I learn the most from. So go ahead and take a chance. Introduce yourself to at least one new person every day of the conference.