ALA Midwinter 2016

#ALAMW16 Navigating the exhibition hall with @HelenSwinyard

So – the Exhibition Hall is the main draw for the 1st night & for non-librarians too. Not only are there 10,000 of us “libbies” here but students & book bloggers swarming to get ARCs & other free stuff! As a first-timer, I was warned not to go crazy – but I failed… Luckil this means that my school pupils back in London will be getting some great prizes in 2016! What IS great is that there are so many publishers & library companies here, so there is totally something for everyone. Luckily everyone is very friendly – but I am used to everyone politely queuing for things (if moaning about how long the line is) in the UK. Here it is more of a free-for-all. Also, you need super-human eyes to read the exhibition hall layout map properly.

My first 10 minutes was very overwhelming due to the buzz – so here are my tips if you are going to explore:

  • Have a look at the author signings sheet & pick a couple of lines to aim for!
  • Get a couple of free tote bags from publishers first, to put your ARCs in!
  • Chat to the publishing reps about a particular topic – they may be able to suggest things for you they don’t have on the stand, or can email you.
  • Bring a small suitcase or large bag to check in – put your coat in it when you arrive and then use it on the way home for your new acquisitions.

A shout out to the YALSA stand too – the ladies are really friendly & I feel I understand a lot more about the teen situation in the US than I did before! Not so different from the UK as I’d assumed.

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