The 2011 ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans was an exciting and highly entertaining event. I felt so fortunate to work with ALSC through the Student-to-Staff program. The weekend was fun, hectic, exhausting, and exhilarating.
Many of programs I attended and worked at were enlightening educational experiences that taught me things I could imagine any children’s librarian using daily as they strive to better their services. One such program was “Criss-Cross Applesauce: Multi-Age Story Times” by Kathy Klatt and Saroj Ghoting, where the speakers introduced the ideas of continuous story time and sequential story time in a very creative and interactive way. “Before and After Harry Potter: Fantasy for Grades 3-5 and 5-8” was a very informative session that gave children’s and young adult librarians a plethora of titles that could help guide young readers through the exciting genre of fantasy.
Some of the other events I attended were simply thrilling to attend, such as the Newbery/Caldecott/Wilder Banquet and the ALSC Awards. The Newbery Banquet was easily the highlight was my weekend. It was wonderful to be in a room with so many other people who shared my enthusiasm for children’s literature. Newbery winner Clare Vanderpool’s witty speech perfectly captured the plucky attitude of her book’s heroine, Abilene, while Caldecott winner Erin Stead’s humble and awestruck acceptance surely touched everyone in the room. Tomie diPaola, who took home the Wilder award, charmed the entire audience and, just like in his books, he managed to bring a smile to everyone’s face.
The next morning at the ALSC Awards, I was blown away to see even more fabulous authors and illustrators (Kate DiCamillo, Mo Willems, and Grace Lin, to name a few) honored for their work. The weekend seemed to fly by and before I knew it, it was time to go home. I know that I’ll look back on the lessons and experiences of ALA 2011 for years to come. I am truly grateful to ALSC and the wonderful people I worked with over the weekend for giving me such an enjoyable experience.
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