ALA Midwinter 2017

The Importance of Metrics in Youth Services at #alamw17

How do we use metrics and quantitative data to express our value? Throughout this conference I have spoken with a variety of librarians from around the country (who work in a wide range of settings) about this very topic, and it seems like a question everyone is asking! This afternoon I attended a session sponsored by PLA titled “Managing with Data: PLAmetrics” that showcased different reports and filters, and it left me wanting more. (For more information check out I want a more indepth conversation about metrics within our profession. As youth librarians, what data should we be collecting? What questions should we be asking? How can we band together and share this data so we can truly assess the impact our profession is having on our communities at large? Librarians serving youth have tremendously powerful anecdotal evidence of the impact we are making, but we are often missing the statistical…

ALA Annual 2017

#alamw17 Publisher Previews

My main activity at ALA Midwinter Meeting today was two publisher previews – Scholastic and Boyds Mills Press.  The second one fed me lunch, which was much nicer than waiting in line for high-priced fast food. Even more than the books previewed, the sessions were a nice chance to talk with more children’s book people whom I haven’t seen since the last conference or to make new connections. It’s gotten where I love the world of ALSC – These are my people! A lot of the faces I’ve seen many times before.  Perhaps after awhile we’ll remember exactly when and where we met — but I know they’re children’s book folks, and thus my people! As for books — It sounds like it’s going to be another good year!  I liked that Wendy Wan-Long Shang and Madelyn Rosenberg wrote a book about a boy who is half Jewish and half Chinese…

ALA Midwinter 2017

#alamw17 Scholastic Literary Event

This morning’s Scholastic Literary Event spotlighted some fantastic middle grade fiction. Four authors were there to present readings from their newest books: Gordon Korman, whose newest book, Restart, looks at a bully who’s lost his memory and is finding he’s a very different person – if everyone around him will let him be. Natasha Tarpley, whose novel, Harlem Charade, blends mystery and art, with a protagonist who’s living on the streets and trying to find out what happened to his grandfather, who was attacked. Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang, whose novel, This is Just a Test, takes an often hilarious look at a Chinese-American Jewish boy in the early 1980s, who’s worried about nuclear war and his two warring grandmothers. Each author gave a brief talk, introduced his or her book, and, in a fun departure from the usual author readings, engaged the other authors in creating a little…

ALA Midwinter 2017

We March in Atlanta! #alamw17

Saturday in Atlanta, I march and we march for equality, for access to health care, for access to information, and so much more.  The button is for the amazing March: Book 3 based on the life of a living superhero, Congressman John Lewis.  The rain stopped and the clouds parted here and there to let the sun shine through. Congressmen Lewis led over 60,000 people from the Civil Rights Museum down through Atlanta to the capital building. He and many other important community figures spoke about the important issues on social justice and women’s rights.  I was so excited to chant “This is what democracy looks like!”alongside so many amazing humans, especially my coworker and friend, Emily Drew!

ALA Midwinter 2017

Picture Books at #alamw17

Saturday morning with picture books at #alamw17. I spotted and grabbed my first two ARCs of the day at a breakfast hosted by HarperCollins. I scored a copy of the new picture book by  Dan Yaccarino- Morris Mole.  I also got a middle grade ARC by Rita Williams-Garcia, Clayton Byrd Goes Undercover! Take a look (and try not to drool!) at the endpapers of Dan Yaccarino’s picture book: To wet you whistle, check out the back of Rita Williams-Garcia new book: Up next, second breakfast with Scholastic authors & illustrators talking about what we all love- picture books! Peter H. Reynolds, Kate Messner, Carmen Agra Deedy, in conversation with Julie Danielson. Here are some highlights from the conversation: Libraries are dreaming academies. . . You [librarians] are the keepers of important ideas. – Peter H. Reynolds @scholastic breakfast at #alamw17 Picture books are an entry in to discussions for all ages….

ALA Midwinter 2017

Enjoying the Small Moments at #alamw17 on Saturday

There are so many amazing things going on during Midwinter that it can be overwhelming! I’m learning to accept the fact that I can’t turn into Hermione with her time-turner. I would love to be in multiple places at once. Because I know I can’t make it to everything on my schedule, I’ve been prioritizing a few sessions and otherwise going with the flow. Yesterday that led to some really great moments and conversations! A snapshot for you: I attended the Bloomsbury, Disney, HarperCollins, Macmillan Book Buzz, as well as the Penguin Young Readers Book Buzz sessions. What could be greater than hearing publishers share what they are most excited about in their new lineup of titles? The enthusiasm and insight they provide on the authors, illustrators and stories is always incredibly helpful. After a session I talked with a really nice school librarian near me about collection development in…