ALA Annual 2010

ALA Language

Language. How we acquire it, and what we do with it once we have it. This was the theme for my ALA 2010 experience. As always, the Charlemae Rollins President’s Program on Monday morning was the best session I attended. It opened with the wonderful storyteller, Lucia Gonzalez, and then went on to the fascinating research of Dr. Patricia K. Kuhl. Her comments and revelations had me thinking for days about stories and the sounds of language. How fitting that the day before I braved the heat for a quick trip to the Digital Bookmobile to be part of the community recording of “The Wizard of Oz”, and then later on Monday to listen to the dulcet tones of the Odyssey Award winners. It is all about language, and what we do with it. It is all about how we put together those words and how the sounds of those words entice us further into story, into books, into reading and listening and wondering. Yes, D.C. was brutally hot (especially for this Southern girl now living in the far North), but it was also a place to regenerate and to reconnect with that thrill that libraries and books always bring. And on Tuesday, as I strolled through the book display at the Newseum, and there, at the very end of the exhibit stood in front of an original page of the Gutenberg Bible, it was a perfect ending to the trip as I realized I was standing in front of a piece of paper that actually made it possible for me to be what I am–a librarian, through and through!

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