ALA Annual 2017

Words in the Wind in Chicago

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.

ALA Annual 2017

Alaac2017 Hillary: Beyond your Politics

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

This Never Gets Old #alaac17

Chicago Skyline

So, I crunched the numbers last week and calculated that #alaac17 (in my beautiful hometown of Chicago) is my 26th ALA Annual Conference, the very first being in Dallas in June 1989. Seventeen of those conferences have been with ALSC. And, seriously, this conference stuff never gets old! While much of the actual work at ALA Annual is similar from year to year, following a model that is tweaked and fine-tuned with each completed event, each individual conference provides its own unique moments. Here are just a few that made #alaac17 very special: Shaking Congressman John Lewis’s hand directly following his powerful acceptance remarks for the Sibert Medal (for “March: Book 3”). Witnessing the friendship, camaraderie, and love shared among ALSC committee members, the products of long months spent discussing, deliberating, working, and celebrating accomplishments  together. (See some amazing details and photos below!) Seeing, hugging, laughing with, and/or catching up with (whatever…

ALA Annual 2017

Pura Belprè Celebraciòn: Celebrating 21 Years of Latino Children’s Literature #alaac17

pura belpre awards program

On Sunday afternoon, we celebrated Pura Belprè’s 21st Anniversary. The Pura Belprè ceremony celebrates award-winning Latino writers and illustrators. Although I am Latina, I sometimes feel a bit distant from my Mexican and Puerto Rican roots because my family rarely shares stories and are fluent in English. Most times, my knowledge of my culture only revolves around the food.  SO. MUCH. CULTURE. The Pura Belpre Celebracion immersed me in the latino culture. I felt so grateful to be a part of this experience for the first time! I loved hearing the winners speeches and learning about their families and origins. Juana Medina, 2017 Pura Belprè Award recipient for Narrative, said, “We need to offer more to the Latino community when it comes to narrative,” and I really couldn’t agree more. First and foremost, I need to do my part in seeking out authors and other artists of the Latino community, but I…