ALA Annual 2013

Don’t You Want to Go? ALA in Sweet Home Chicago!

2013 ALA Annual Conference in Chicago, ILThere’s still time to attend the ALA Annual Conference in Chicago scheduled for June 27-July 2, 2013!

With so many exciting events, programs and meetings planned there is certain to be plenty to fill your days (and nights) with opportunities to learn, explore, network and experience all that ALSC and Chicago have to offer.

Our ALSC experience has two “bookends” with the pre-conference at the beginning on Friday, June 28 and the Charlemae Rollins President’s program at the other end on Monday, July 1—with lots of great selections in between! Here are just a few!

Such an exciting time with the 75th Caldecott Celebration as a center for festivities at our annual conference, it all begins with the Friday, June 28 ALSC Preconference A Wild Ride: 75 Years of the Caldecott Medal even though the event is sold out, there is a waiting list for registration. If you can’t attend, then be sure to still check out the Caldecott Medal 75th Anniversary page for links to the anniversary scrapbook, recorded webinars and information about the Mock Caldecott toolkit.

On Saturday morning, June 29 from 8:30-11:30 am, ALSC President-elect, Starr Latronica will host Leadership & ALSC (formally known as ALSC Division Leadership). This meeting of the ALSC Board, ALSC PGC’s and ALSC Committee Chairs is open to all and is a great experience for networking and learning. The format will include information about ALSC initiatives and events, brief introductions of all attendees (a great networking opportunity!), and a speaker designed to further leadership skills. For this summer’s program, Starr selected Brigid Hubberman, Executive Director of the Family Reading Partnership of Tompkins County (NY) and she is considered the “gold standard” for initiation and support of community literacy efforts. Check out the website at and what the experts say about the Family Reading Partnership’s efforts at

New members and early career professionals will definitely want to check out ALSC 101 on Saturday, June 29 at 4:30-6:30. This is a great opportunity to make connections with others interested in children’s librarianship. Learn more about membership and the ways that you can contribute to ALSC.

The ALSC All Committee I & II event is the session where ALSC committees meet to hold discussion and make decisions that shape the association. This event will take place on Sunday morning, June 30 from 8:30 am-11:30 am. Even if you aren’t currently serving on an ALSC committee, you might think of stopping by to listen in. ALSC award committees are closed session (marked by an * in the program), but all others are open for you to listen in on what is happening. Lists of committee meetings for each space will be listed in your ALA program. You’re sure to make some great connections and learn more about our association!

After lunch on Sunday from 1:00-300 pm make sure to head over for the 2013 Pura Belpré Celebracií²n. A lively and energetic celebration of Latino children’s literature will honor the finest selections in illustration and writing from books considered from 2012. Listen to wonderful speeches from award winners and join in the festivities!

Events on Sunday hit a peak when the doors open at 6:30 pm for the 2013 Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet with a promise to be a grand occasion honoring this year’s winners along with the special celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Caldecott Medal. This year there are three speeches from Newbery winner Katherine Applegate, Caldecott winner Jon Klassen and Wilder awardee Katherine Patterson.

Grab a cup of coffee on Monday morning—the very first day of July—and share in a selection of ALSC events that kick off with the ALSC Book and Media Awards Program from 8:30-10 am. Included in this presentation are the Robert F. Sibert Informational Book Award, the Mildred Batchelder Award, the Theodor Seuss Geisel Award and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Video. Hear each of the medal winners provide brief speeches and join in the celebration of these distinguished choices in children’s books and video.

Afterwards, the ALSC Membership Meeting from 10:30-11:30 am will provide an opportunity to network and get to know fellow members, learn about association initiatives, celebrate professional award recipients including ALSC Distinguished Service Award recipient Cynthia Richey and engage in a brief discussion of current issues. Learn more about our association, share your thoughts and hear what other members think about topics related to creating a better future for children through libraries.

Next in the line-up is the 2013 ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program from 1:00-3:00 pm titled Think with Your Eyes! With this program, participants will experience a powerful method of engaging with pictures–and then exploring the value of using the technique with children. Whether the images are masterpieces on a museum wall, part of a picture book narrative, or photographs and charts in a science text, understanding and appreciating what we see is a skill that can be developed. In part one of the program, Oren Slozberg, Executive Director of Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS), ( will invite audience participation as he introduces the process. This method has proven to be highly effective in public libraries and schools in developing observation skills, critical thinking, and civil discourse–powerful habits of mind across the curriculum and throughout life. In part two, library and museum partners will demonstrate how collaboration adds up to more than the sum of its parts in supporting visual literacy. If you’ve ever wondered how to facilitate enriching conversations using art as a stimulus–and where to turn for live assistance or virtual resources, this program is for you!

The Odyssey Award Presentation is the final youth awards program during the conference and will be held from 4:30 – 6 pm. The 2013 winner is Brilliance Audio, producer of the audiobook, The Fault in Our Stars won the 2013 Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production. The Fault in Our Stars was written by John Green and narrated by Kate Rudd. This annual award will be given to the producer of the best audiobook produced for children and/or young adults, available in English in the United States. The Odyssey Award is jointly given and administered by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) and the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), divisions of ALA, and is sponsored by Booklist.

For a description of ALSC’s main events check here. There is also a page of the full ALSC schedule including description of the seven conference programs sponsored by ALSC. These pages will be updated as room locations and other conference information becomes available.

Don’t you want to go? Hope to see you there! In Chicago!

Sweet Home Chicago (Written by Robert Johnson and performed by the Blues Brothers)
Come on, baba don’t you want to go
Hida-hey, baba don’t you want to go
Back to that same old place
Oh sweet home Chicago

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