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…

ALA Annual 2017

ALSC Mentor Program #alaac17

As a new youth librarian, I was very excited by the opportunity to participate in the ALSC Mentoring Program. This is a free program open to anyone (you don’t have to be an ALSC or ALA member to participate as a mentee). I wrapped up my program by meeting my mentor in person at ALA Annual! As a mentee, I talked with my awesome mentor, Megan Egbert, once a month about our libraries and the various challenges we were facing. We set goals for our program, including: Reviewing what each ALSC committee does and submitting a volunteer application. (This resulted in me getting appointed to the Notable Children’s Recordings committee.) Sharing useful resources in a Google document and discussing our favorites each month. Interviewing a different youth librarian each month. This led to some awesome conversations with Mel Depper, Carissa Christner, Amy Koester, Claudia Haines, and more amazing youth library leaders. It…