ALA Midwinter 2018

Wrapping up my 1st Midwinter #alamw18

And… it’s a wrap! My first Midwinter experience is officially done! It’s been a super quick five days in Denver. I have had some highs– Bill Morris Seminar, talking storytime, attending my first council session, and many more; and some lows– icy streets, SNOW, way overpacked bags.But all in all, it was a wonderful and illuminating experience to attend the infamous Midwinter Conference. My takeaways: ~Midwinter is mostly meetings and there is not much program– but it is a chance to really get to know committees and what they do. There are also lots of OPEN meetings where you can just drop in and hear about a division or round table. ~Attendance is a lot lower at Midwinter– according to Council documents we were about a thousand people less than last year in Atlanta… and while that may be disappointing to vendors, it is a great opportunity to network! You see…

ALA Midwinter 2018

Youth Media Awards #alamw18

There are not many reasons to get up at 7 am on a Conference day when your first meeting isn’t until 10 am, but then, not every morning is the Youth Media Awards! For those of you not there… allow me to paint a picture. Denver is cold– and the streets remain a bit icy, but yet hoards of library people are up and about– you wouldn’t need to consult your Scheduler, just follow the herd of people to a packed room. The room was abuzz with people chatting about their favorite books of the year and the excitement over what books might win! I had to search for my friend and my saved seat, but it was nearly impossible with all of the excited people. Once I found her, we started discussing predictions and just general excitement over what was to come! Every year I read the results as they…

ALA Midwinter 2018

Local library love #alamw18

Conferences are so busy– and they keep you engaged for crazy long hours– that it is easy to forget that you are in a new city! I am always trying to be better at exploring the local scene when I travel to conferences– and this year is especially hard for me because I am right next to the Conference Center, and I hate the snow! But one thing I absolutely love and try to do is to see a local library in the city I am visiting. I love looking at the children’s rooms and collections and how they market and manage their spaces. Some of the cutest things from Denver Public Library main branch: This adorable play mailbox! I wanted to write my own letter and leave it! Or this little easel that allows young artists to practice- who may not be ready to stay seated- or able to…

ALA Midwinter 2018

Storytime Goddesses at #alamw18

  After my first ALA Annual, my friend, (shoutout Debby) said we had to join Twitter to connect with all the librarians and book people there! I signed up- and started all these wonderful library connections! Including hearing about really cool unofficial events– like a “Storytime Deep Dive” in the Networking Uncommons hosted by the amazing Mel (of Mel’s Desk!!!) She magnanimously hosted an informal storytime chat where children’s librarians and youth services team members got together to talk about storytime gripes and philosophies. It was really great to talk to children’s library staff from around the US- in the hour or two I sat there, we had a children’s librarian from Hawaii and one from Alaska! While I love fangirling to children’s authors and illustrators, it means so much more to sit down with people who write the blogs that I consult for storytime, programming, and general library ideas!…

ALA Midwinter 2018

ALA Council @ #alamw18

One of the many reasons that I love conferences is for the networking, free books, and passionate library people! However, as a newly elected ALA Councilor at Large- my morning (and the next few mornings) was filled with a very long and informative orientation session for new councilors! Being a part of ALA Council means that I get to see both the organization and conference in a whole new light– I get a chance to see the inner workings of an organization that is a home to me in so many ways… being a part of Council means that I get to contribute my voice both as a member of ALA and as my professional capabilities to create an ALA that represents the very best of our wonderful career choice! And… Council sessions are open to general ALA public-which means that you don’t have to wait for an election to…

ALA Midwinter 2018

USSBY Books at #alamw18

In all my years of ALA Conferences- I had never attended a USSBY Presentation- if you don’t know (I didn’t!) that acronym stands for United States Board on Books for Young People. I really liked this presentation because while so much of award selections are top secret, this was an opportunity for the committee to share their selections with the audience. The six presenters had copies of the books they were discussing and actually showed the audience the pages that delighted, inspired, or tickled their fancies! I also loved that they framed their book discussions around motifs that the books invoked for them! Themes like journies, surprise, loss of voice, and Motley Crews! It’s also always fun to see passionate people talk about books they are passionate about! They also created a super cool bookmark of the selected books! At the end of the panel discussion, talented illustrator (and author),…

ALA Annual 2017

Exploring Chicago #alaac17

After my best attempts to make it to winding down sessions and an emptying exhibit hall– my friends and I decided to use our evening to see some Chicago sights! We made our way to the Up Comedy Club to see a Second City improv show! I love improv and the idea of seeing a show at the place where Tina Fey got her start was super exciting! Then we made our way to Pequods for some deep dish pizza! And this evening out reminded me why ALA is so invaluable to me–it’s a chance to reconnect with my grad school friends in a way that life wouldn’t allow me to do! As much as I love them, my vacation time is usually spent on family or leisure time– and since we all live across the nation from each other- this is our time to catch up! As we sat…