This was the first time I attended one of ALSC’s National Institutes, and it was a truly gratifying and inspiring experience. The quality and know-how of the speakers was particularly impressive. Being fairly new in my position as Children’s Materials Specialist I was especially interested in attending sessions geared towards the evaluation and selection of children’s materials. Both sessions I attended, part of the Inspiring Lifelong Reading track, were extremely informative and helpful.
The institute also included invited authors, something I always look forward to. Opening General Session Keynote speaker Laura Vaccaro Seeger shared with us her path to becoming a children’s author and illustrator and her creative process (including a sneak peek at the next picture book in the “Dog and Bear” series published in 2009.) Christopher Paul Curtis was the Friday Luncheon guest speaker. Again, it was a treat to listen to Mr. Curtis’ personal experiences and how they make their way into his books and characters.
Attending the 2008 ALSC’s National Institute was a learning and rewarding experience, one that I would recommend to any librarian interested in children’s services.
Monica S. Carnesi
Children’s Materials Specialist
Free Library of Philadelphia