ALA Annual 2011

Swag bags for the soul

We love our ARCs, pens, posters, buttons, and endless vendor bags, but it’s the intangible goodies that mean the most at #ALA11.

Grand inspiration, practical ideas, and poignant moments – these are what I hope to take away from ALA, whether they come from a session, the exhibit floor, or a conversation with a colleague.

To name just a very few of the nuggets I’ve tucked into my brain:

  1. Dr. Robinson’s thoughtful description of the range and common features of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and her valuable advice to build relationships with the parents and caregivers of kids with ASD, to get to know the kids, and to remember that non-verbal does not mean unintelligent and that kids with ASD do want human connection – it’s just a lot harder for them.
  2. I’ve got new energy, information, and motivation to go back and improve our early literacy services, our teen web, our e-media for kids and teens, and more.  Though maybe not all at once…
  3. The ALSC Awards Banquet offered many amazing moments – but man, when Erin Stead quoted from The Velveteen Rabbit… there wasn’t a dry eye in the ballroom.

It’s not all about the intangibles, of course.  I’m bringing home a lot of Mardi Gras beads, too!



  1. Mary Voors

    “Swag bags for the soul” – I love that phrase! And you’re right, the intangibles are the real meat of the Conference.

  2. Mary Ann Scheuer

    Oh, I love this phrase too. I was just thinking a similar thought. These are the artists that inspire me, make me laugh, sigh, ponder, wonder, and above all feed my soul.

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