ALA Annual 2014

Top Ten Things You May Have Missed in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, the city of distractions, proved to be an entertaining and exciting location for my first Annual Conference. With so many wonderful restaurants, an energetic exhibit hall, and lots of great meetings and sessions to attend, it was very easy to miss out on something. The following list highlights 10 things you might have missed at Annual 2014:

1.  The Long but Super Fast Registration Line!

registration lineWith over 18,000 people attending ALA Annual in Las Vegas, it is no surprise that the registration lines got a little long. As nervous as I was when I first stepped into the line, it went incredibly fast! The staff did a fantastic job getting everyone in and out, all of our questions answered, and communicating their excitement for the conference. Thanks ALA staffers for your hard work leading up to and during the conference!

  1. The Banned Book Video Booth

IMG_0806The energy and excitement at the Banned Book Week Video booth was evident every time I walked by (located near the exhibit hall). Librarians and other library-loving individuals seemed to be thoroughly enjoying the opportunity to read some of their favorite banned books and talk about the importance of intellectual freedom and free access to materials. One of my favorite moments of the conference was watching a captivating librarian read And Tango Makes Three!

  1. Networking Between Sessions and In The Exhibit Hall!

IMG_0809One of the highlights of every conference is networking with other passionate professionals in our field. While waiting in line to meet Marcus Zusak (who truly is a delight!), I met two charming librarians from around the US. What began as a quick chat about how excited we were to meet Zusak turned into a longer discussion about makerspaces and the maker movement in school and public libraries. Thanks Lynda Reynolds, Director of the Stillwater Public Library (Oklahoma) and Jessica Stewart, Librarian at The Meadows School in Nevada for the great conversation!

  1. Author Meet and Greets

Every time the exhibit hall was open, there seemed to be at least one fantastic author signing copies of our favorite books and answering some of our best questions. Each author seemed pleased when I told them I felt like I was meeting a rock star (which to us, authors and illustrators are our rock stars!). Two of my favorites this trip were Kadir Nelson and Tom Angleberger.

  1. Dinner with Friends from Afar

IMG_0814Conferences are some of the best times to get together with other professionals from near and far to eat dinner, relax, and enjoy both library and non library conversation. Las Vegas in particular had some of the best restaurants to choose from, and the air conditioning offered an appreciated chance to rehydrate and reenergize.

  1. The Scholastic Literary Brunch

IMG_0818Over a hundred youth librarians gathered in one of the ballrooms at Caesars one morning to eat, network, and listen to some wonderful authors talk about and read from their new books. In groups of three, authors performed an excerpt from their new books reader’s theater style. It was a really wonderful experience!

  1. The Starbucks Line (A Great Place for Networking!)

IMG_0837No surprise, but librarians love their coffee! The line at the Starbucks next to the exhibit hall always seemed to be out the door, but the coffee was good and the conversation was always great!

  1. The Comic Book, Graphic Novel, and Trade Paperback Aisle in the Exhibit Hall

IMG_0844As a first-time ALA Annual attendee, the comic book, graphic novel, and trade paperback aisle in the exhibit hall was an unexpected treat! While there, I got to meet so many wonderful artists and writers; Stacey King, an author for UDON Entertainment’s upcoming “Manga Classics” line was wonderful to talk to, signed my books, and posed for quite a few pictures!

  1. The ALSC Membership Meeting

The 2014 ALSC Membership Meeting offered a great opportunity to chat with other youth librarians, meet members of the ALSC board, hear about the awards and accomplishments of professionals in our field, and discuss the very important white paper The Importance of Diversity in Library Programs and Material Collections for Children. If you have not read it yet, I encourage you to stop reading this blog and go check it out at

10. Your Flight!

IMG_0798Flight delays were plentiful on the way home from Annual due to thunderstorms in the Midwest and Northeast. Anyone flying anywhere near Chicago was probably stranded either in Vegas or somewhere along your route!


Thank you so much to everyone who agreed to be pictured in this blog and to everyone who made my first ALA Annual Conference such a wonderful experience! A very special thank you to everyone involved in helping me attend my first ALA Annual Conference, especially everyone involved in the Penguin Young Readers Group Award. I look forward to seeing everyone at Midwinter 2015 in Chicago and Annual 2015 in San Francisco!


IMG_0661Our guest blogger today is JoAnna Schofield.  JoAnna is an Early Childhood Librarian at the Highland Square Branch Library, part of the Akron-Summit County Public Library System in Akron, Ohio. She passionately enjoys her toddler, preschool, and school age programming and outreach. She is eagerly awaiting her great artists themed preschool story time series and her STEAM after school club this fall. When she is not connecting with the Highland Square community, she is training for her first half-marathon this September, spending time with her family at the Akron Zoo, and looking at the newest memes of Grumpy Cat. Her inspiration comes from her three beautiful children: Jackson (4), Parker (3), and Amelia Jane (16 months). She can be reached at

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at


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