Blogger School-Age Programs and Service Committee

Think Spring? Think Books!

March…how did that happen?!?  2017 seems to be passing with ever more speed.  With much of the country enjoying warm temperatures recently, we can all hope that spring comes quickly.

When winter finally leaves, my thoughts turn to BookExpo 2017, which will be held in New York City at the Javits Center, from Wednesday, May 31 – Friday, June 2.

If you are not familiar with BookExpo, it bills itself as the #1 book and author event in the United States.  Many ALA members attend the event in addition to ALA Annual, as the authors in attendance and books promoted at each are not the same…especially the authors!

If you do go to BookExpo 2017, here are a few thoughts and tips based on my experiences that I hope you will find helpful:

  • I encounter a lot people who work outside the library world at BookExpo, including non-profit workers, educators and non-library bloggers.  I have had some really interesting conversations with people I might not meet at ALA while doing things like waiting in author signature lines, and have enjoyed those encounters.
  • In a similar vein, BookExpo has a global market perspective, and attracts publishers from around the world.  In past years, they have put a spotlight on specific countries including China, Poland, Italy and Russia.  You can stay inside the more narrow slice of children’s publishing, or broaden your tastes as you wish.
  • Like, ALA, BookExpo does have additional special ticketed events, such as the Children’s Author Breakfast, the Adult Author Breakfast, and the Audio Publisher’s Tea.  Consider checking them out!
  • BookExpo also has a number of ticketed author signings (usually 10-20).  There are two ways to get a ticket to these popular events: either stand in line at the Javits Center at 7:00 am on the first day of the show for free tickets, or buy an Avid Reader Pass or a Reader Pass (which sell out early, so check when you register).  I have also seen some author signings at publisher’s booths require tickets, and these are usually given out when the line forms at the time of the signing.  If you want to make sure you don’t miss your favorite author at a publisher’s booth, ask someone there ahead of time when they will start forming the line and if they will be handing out tickets.
  • Finally, because BookExpo is not an ALA event, there are no meetings, seminars, assemblies or social events sponsored by the Association.  It’s much more of an “on your feet all day” event with only the breaks that you make for yourself.  Stay hydrated, wear comfy shoes, take some snacks and bring a rolling suitcase or bag for your ARCs (plan to leave it with coat check and come back to fill during the day)

If you go, I hope you enjoy!

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Dave Saia wrote this post as a member of ALSC’s School Age Programs and Service Committee, and is the librarian at Heim Middle School in Williamsville, New York.

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