ALA Annual 2018

Fun After Hours! #alaac18

While the sessions, exhibit hall, and committee meetings are invaluable to my experience of ALA Annual… there is a lot to be said for after-hours events and networking moments that happen spur of the moment just by looking up from your phone and connecting to someone for a few moments. Taking a conference bus, talking to people online, or saying hello to the table next to you at Starbucks can be a way to connect to another librarian! It is one of the most underrated and yet amazing experiences that can come from Annual! Lots of librarians seize on this by planning late-night dinners and social events– and one that had been popping up my twitter over the years was Drunk Story Time! To me that combined lots of things that I love– drinking, story time, and connecting to other librarians! And yet– it was so intimidating! @MelissaZD (twitter) or Mel’s…

ALA Annual 2018

The Inclusive Makerspace #WeNeedDiverseMakerspaces #alaac18

It’s been another jam-packed, amazing day at the 2018 ALA Conference! This afternoon I attended The Inclusive Makerspace #WeNeedDiverseBooks session led by Gina Seymour, a School Library Media Specialist. She offered some great advice on making your Makerspace or hands on learning activities accessible for a wide variety of youth, including those with disabilities or language barriers. Gina provided many simple tips with big impact, like providing triangular anti-roll crayons, instruction sheets with a visual cue for each step, and printing instructions in both English and Spanish. Other suggestions included labeling all craft materials used in making with not only a word but an image of what is inside. She emphasized how making can promote the 3 E’s: Equity, Education and Excitement. This session made me think of how my library could reassess our own maker-based activities and  programming so that everyone can be successful and feel welcome. Thinking of…

ALA Annual 2018

Wolves, alternative universes and legacies, Banquet #alacc18

From howling like wolves, to laughing at Erin E. Kellys illustrious illustration career, to bonding over the state of the world- the 2018 Newbery-Caldecott Legacy Banquet was a historic night to remember. ALA President Jim Neal told some jokes and even added five additional commandments about books and reading! ALSC President Nina Lindsay shared the groundbreaking news of changing the name of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Lifetime Achievement Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award. The food was delicious, the vibe was electric and it truly was a library prom. Many generous sponsors supported the banquet and many individuals were recognized on the big screen for their contributions to ALSC. The committees that selected the 2018 Caldecott, Newbery and Legacy Award Winners were also recognized. Without question, the highlight of the banquet was the phenomenal speeches by the award winners. The order of the speeches is Caldecott chair, Caldecott winner,…

ALA Annual 2018

A Night of Children’s Book Excitement #alaac18

I feel like a fancy librarian for attending the Newbery, Caldecott, and now- Children’s Literacy Legacy Award (YAY!!!) for all five ALAs that I have attended. I also felt fancy for wearing a giant sheer bow fascinator that was an instant conversation piece! But– this awards reception remains a staple for my conference (sorry wallet) because of the pure joy that is expressed there– something all the award winners and ALA/ALSC presenters reminded us over and over. So really, I attend for the glamour and speeches (although you can do this all for free by just sitting in the chairs on the sides after dinner!) As a librarian, I book talk daily– sometimes it even spills into my personal time with RA to my hair stylist, barista, and anyone who happens to cross my path. And as we all know– you may never know the impact of handing a book to a…

ALA Annual 2018

Tech Talk at #alaac18

As children’s librarians, we’re constantly asking ourselves what’s best for the young patrons we serve day-to-day. After all, though we’re not their primary caregivers, we carry some responsibility for their growth and development. Some things are easy: No, you can’t have ten pieces of candy – your mom/uncle/grandma will kill me; yes, we can absolutely read Mr. Tiger Goes Wild again – it’s my favorite, too. But when the question of technology comes up, things can get a little… heated.

Children's Literature (all forms)

Illustrator LeUyen Pham

“The power of picture books is painting the world the way you want see it.” Yesterday I sat in on illustrator LeUyen Pham’s talk “Wandering Wonderful: How an Outsider Found Her Way In.” Pham shared intimate stories from her childhood and related her experiences to her favorite books. It was a beautiful glimpse into a reader’s journey to the woman and artist she is today. I am really inspired by author and illustrator talks, especially from artists like Pham who allow us in.  Hearing their personal stories helps me connect their books with kids. When you can say, “You know I met this illustrator. She was really cool. She loved Charlottes Web and told us a story about her pet ducks. And yes, her family ended up eating the ducks, but she didn’t”, kids see the creator of the books they love as real people who even were once kids…

ALA Annual 2018

Recap: Fresh Takes on Youth Services #alaac18

Tired of the same ol’ voices presenting every conference? This morning, a group of 6 youth services library folks got the chance to present for the first time ever at a national conference. The catch? They only had five minutes each. And they brought it. The session,  reminiscent of past Ignite sessions, was proposed by Brooke Newberry as a way to bring new voices to national attention. Brooke, with other veteran colleagues Kelsey Johnson-Kaiser, Amy Koester, and Kendra Jones mentored the 6 participants through the process of developing and delivering a conference presentation. Jo Schofield talked about using the P21 framework in robotics programs. Robotics can foster creativity, problem solving, communication and collaboration. An estimated sixty-five percent of children will have a job that hasn’t been invented yet, so it’s important to develop skills that are useful in a variety of fields. Robin Sofge spoke on positive professional growth. She…