As a first timer in an ALA Conference, I felt the energy, curiosity, and overwhelming desire to attend as many programs and listen to as many amazing authors and speakers as possible. This trip was possible, in part, thank to the 2017 ALSC Penguin Young Readers Group Award, which allowed me to attend the 2017 ALA Annual Conference and the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet. The Great: Teen Space Upon my arrival, I set foot in the Harold Washington Library Center. Here, I attended three STEM tours for children, teens, and adults. Each one of these STEM spaces was designed based on age group and space. The Children’s STEM space used a large STEM table where children could build drawing materials from a Maker Space organizer unit on a daily basis. No need for a STEM staff. This initiative is based on children’s interest, curiosity to navigate the Maker Space unit, and desire…
For many librarians, June means the ALA Annual Conference, but for we children’s librarians, June means the start of Summer Reading! I’d never attended the annual conference before, in part because that time of year is the busiest time of year for us at the library. Going out of town in the days before SRC officially kicked off always seemed impossible. But after hearing raves about the 2016 conference from other children’s librarians, I was determined to finally attend Chicago in 2017!
When I became a children’s librarian in 2014, I tried to adopt the mantra of just try things. I took that attitude and applied for the Penguin Random House Young Readers Grant (and many other grants and programs). I was fortunate enough to win the grant and attend my first full ALA conference in Chicago. I had attended conferences before but there were five special perks from this grant that I would not have received elsewhere: The full experience. Because the 2017 conference was in my hometown of Chicago ,many of my friends and colleagues attended for a day or two. With my stipend, I was able to attend the entire conference from start to finish and truly reap all the benefits. (Example: a notebook full of awesome ideas I have already started to implement and a pile of amazing ARC’s). Opportunity to attend separate from my library. The stipend paid for my conference…
There are so many components to the Annual Conference: the plane, bus or train ride; the endless shuttle bus lines and rides; the exhibit hall, the convention center, the streets of the City. In all of those places, librarians are talking and sharing notes, authors are proselytizing, publishers are book-talking, and people are shaking hands, sharing hugs, and being happy together. I’ve attempted to capture some of those moments, small snippets of conversations, lectures, and speeches. I hope a few of them might spark a memory you’ve already forgotten about #ALAAnnual2017.
It has been such a pleasure live blogging for this conference. I wish I could impart every last nugget of knowledge to all of you who were #alaleftbehind. But, alas, even my copious handwritten notes don’t do the thoughtful, intelligent, perspective-changing presentations I attended justice.
While touring the exhibit hall at ALA Annual 2017, I tried my best to focus on the latest and new and engaging technology. Our young customers are obsessed with any type of robotics and are constantly willing to learn more. Here are a few resources and items that I’m excited about.
Hillary Clinton closed the 2017 ALA Chicago Conference. Regardless of political affiliations and personal opinions on controversial issues, the audience listened to a tremendously well spoken orator. She knows exactly how to deliver a speech without reading a script and enunciates every word with the right amount of volume and oral determination. Mrs. Clinton invited us to foster critical thinking, promote rational evidence, and be guardians of the First Amendment. Furthermore, she prompted us to stand against censorship adding that we should read books that challenge us. She praised librarianship as the life savers of communities especially the rural and underserved ones and she called to us to defend the truth and reason based on evidence. In her words “one book at a time, one library at a time.” Her speech reached the climax as she reminded us that books free societies and librarians make a difference beyond political parties….
ALA Annual 2017 left me with a million “aha” moments and thoughts that I would love to dwell deeper on. I joke that I need a day in the woods to ponder everything I learned. Here are the top five deep thoughts that hopefully I can revisit and we can all explore in the comments.