ALA Midwinter 2013

Between Sessions at #alamw13

It’s often said that the best parts of conference happen between the sessions, when attendees go to lunch, get a drink, walk the exhibit floor or just sit to talk. Ideas spring out of these small in-betweens and sometimes these little ideas grow. Though they don’t come to me often, I myself had such a moment yesterday. Walking on the exhibit floor between meetings, I encountered a colleague who I hadn’t talked to since Annual. We reminisced and found that we were working on very similar projects. In fact, his project dove-tailed so perfectly with mine that I told him that I would email him immediately after conference to have a follow up. You just don’t run into these kind of opportunities in the office. The conversation really does start here…

ALA Midwinter 2013

Book discussions at #alamw13

On my way to the Notable Children’s Books discussion this afternoon, I stopped in on YALSA’s Best Fiction for YAs.  It’s always fun to see how other book committees work, and –I’ll admit it — I’m a big fan of YA fiction.  I definitely have some new titles to add to my ‘I wanna read’ list. But back to the ALSC NCB discussions. These discussions are always a highlight of any ALA Conference for me and this afternoon’s discussion was no exception. Committee members have obviously spent significant time this year reading, evaluating, and preparing. From this audience member  — Thank you Notable Children’s Books committee!  I can’t wait to see what is on your final list. I could not stay as long as I would have liked, but again, I definitely have some new titles to add to my “I wanna read” list. For a complete list of the…

ALA Midwinter 2013

Saturday morning in Seattle #alamw13

The alarm clock went off much too early this morning, but after my first cup of coffee I was ready to go! It was a warm — at least compared to the Midwest weather I was in yesterday — and rainy morning in Seattle, but it was nice to get out and walk to my morning sessions. The morning started with a breakfast feast hosted by HarperCollins Children’s Books.  Not only was it a great opportunity to talk with colleagues from around the country, it was also a fun networking opportunity. AND they had galleys; picture book galleys, middle grade galleys, YA galleys… last night I was lamenting that I had nothing to read before bed having finished the books I brought with me on the plane. Now I have such a plethora of great books to choose from that it makes me wish I had time to read NOW!…

ALA Midwinter 2013

Our Future Includes Ebooks #alamw13

I’m in the Leadership and ALSC meeting right now, and Sue Polanka (@noshelfrequired) is giving a talk called “Ebooks, Children and Digital Issues.” My biggest takeaway from this talk is a single quote: “The future is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed.” -William Gibson I really think that sums up so much of what we need to think about when we talk about ebooks and apps in libraries. People are already using them, and those without access are getting the short end of the stick. Libraries are about access, and we need to step up to provide ALL TYPES OF ACCESS. Yes, we need to be discerning in choosing what technology we purchase (but we don’t buy every book; how is digital content different?). Yes, we need to help mediate use of technology. Yes, not all of our customers will use it or agree with its presence. But to…

ALA Midwinter 2013

Talking about School Library/Public Library Partnerships #alamw13

The opportunity to meet and idea-share with colleagues from all over the country is quickly becoming one of my favorite things about Midwinter. Last night I attended a few events where school librarians and public children’s librarians abounded, and a consistent topic of interest was the potential in school library/public library partnerships. Some of the ideas I heard about and look forward to sharing with school librarians in my local school district back home: – Mock Newbery and/or Caldecott discussions, or award information presentations – summer reading promotional rallies – library card drives (promotion to get all children in a grade/school library cards) – frequent public librarian presence in the school library, and school librarian presence in the public library, to build visibility and a literacy support network That’s just a smattering of how school and public librarians are working together to provide outstanding services and support for the children…

ALA Midwinter 2013

#alamw13 Speed Dating

Thanks, ALSC, for the speed dating session last night! I came off the plane kind of lonely and in need of some conference love. I walked into the room and surveyed the faces and recognized a few, but it wasn’t until I took a seat and joined in the fun that I began putting faces to names for people I know in the blog and twit-o-spheres. Those faces are now officially people in my network, and through discussion with my new network I now have a lead on a future project, some wild new ideas, emails to write and a stack of business cards in my handy-dandy new purple ALSC card wallet. This event alone reminded me of why I come to conferences; it can be easy to get stuck in our small little ponds and weighed down by the day to day. We need to attend events like these to…