ALA Midwinter 2013

Day in the Life of a Children’s Librarian at #alamw13

While schedules vary greatly for the attendees of the ALA Midwinter Meeting–many of my colleagues have far more committee work than I do–I thought it might be fun to offer a look into one of my conference days here in Seattle. The following day was my Sunday.

6:45 a.m. — Wake up, shower, get dressed, review my schedule for the day.

8:15 a.m. — Stop for coffee on my way to a meeting.

8:30 a.m. — ALSC All Committee Meeting. I sat in on the meeting of the School-Age Programs and Services Committee, which I blogged about briefly yesterday. I also caught the tail end of the discussion at the Children & Technology Task Force.

10:30 a.m. — Scholastic Picture Book Preview. Scholastic authors and illustrators shared their upcoming books; Stephen Savage, Tom Lichtenheld, and Amy Krouse Rosenthal really got the audience laughing. I also enjoyed talking to colleagues during the reception about great nonfiction and apps for school-age kids.

12:00 p.m. — I had lunch with a colleague from Missouri who just finished her Printz Committee work. Congrats to all the #ALAyma committees for completing your reading year!

1:30 p.m. — Exhibits hall. I enjoy wandering up and down the aisles, both talking to publisher staff and just browsing books. I have been particularly pleased with the increase in recent years of lovely, well-researched non-fiction and biography picture books for both preschool and school-age readers. Also, I tend to make mental notes about future story time book groupings while I browse the booths.

3:00 p.m. — Break to live blog and grab a snack.

4:30 p.m. — I went to the Preschool Services Discussion Group meeting, where the topic of conversation was the issues resulting from both large and small program audiences.

5:30 p.m. — Random House put on an event at the Seattle Public Library with seven Newbery-recognized authors: Christopher Paul Curtis, Jenni Holm, Kirby Larson, Louis Sachar, Jerry Spinelli, Rebecca Stead, and Clare Vanderpool all talked about their phone calls to say they’d been recognized, their reading and writing lives, and the impact their young readers have on them. Nancy Pearl moderated this great session.

7:00 p.m. — Penguin Young Readers Group threw an author dinner at a delicious tapas restaurant. I got to hear about new titles from Gordon Dahlquist, Lisa Graff, Ruta Sepetys, and Gayle Forman straight from the authors themselves. Talking books with authors is always enjoyable mixed in with talking books with librarians.

11:30 p.m. — A colleague and I shared a cab back to our hotel, where I immediately fell into bed. Conferences can be exhausting, especially when time changes are involved.


  1. Becky Young

    Thanks for this. As a conference newbie, I felt out of my league and it helped to read what a typical day looked like. I was so confused when I started reading tweets last night after I’d driven home about the Newbery panel. I searched for it in my program & online & couldn’t find anything. The ALA folks said it must have been put on by an outside group and you confirmed it, but how did others find out about it? Or was it invitation only?

  2. Jennifer

    This is my THIRD midwinter and I am still confused. My friend and I wanted to go to the preschool services discussion group, but failed to write down the location…and it mysteriously disappeared from the online schedule every time we searched for it Saturday night (which we did, repeatedly). But we had fun anyways!

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