What a great day here in Denver!
I was excited to begin #PLA2016 by following in Lisa Mulvenna’s footsteps and paying a visit to the beautiful Koelbel Library of the Arapahoe Library District, in Centennial, Colorado. ALSC Executive Director Aimee Strittmatter and I were welcomed by Betsy Brainerd and the incredible team there. I was so inspired by everybody’s enthusiasm, warmth, and good spirits, and especially appreciated learning about their early literacy work, new spaces for all ages of kids, and willingness to try new ideas, learn from them, and try more new ideas. Very fun!
Then on to the Colorado Convention Center! Mary Kuehner mentioned in her post earlier today about Anderson Cooper’s “excellent opening session talk” (hear, hear, Mary!) this afternoon, and the opening to the opening was pretty fabulous, too, as PLA President Vailey Oehlke entered from the back of the room and danced all the way across the auditorium and onto the stage to the celebratory strains of Diana Ross’s anthem “I’m Coming Out.” Best ALA entrance ever, in my book!
Later this afternoon, Aimee and I were joined by ALSC Vice President/President Elect Betsy Orsburn in a meeting with Peter Coyl, Deb Sica, and Ann Symons from ALA’s Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Round Table (GLBTRT). This amazing group has been a tremendous support to ALSC in the last couple of weeks as we continue to work through the process of determining the future of the 2016 ALSC National Institute in the wake of North Carolina’s HB2 legislation. (Remember to let your voice be heard on this issue here.)
I’ve been hearing from many members during PLA about their passionate feelings and opinions about the Institute, and my time in the ALSC booth during the Exhibits Opening Reception this afternoon was a wonderful chance to connect on this, as well as the many, many great opportunities that come with being part of ALSC. Today I got to spend time with folks from California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and lots of other places, and I can’t wait to do it again tomorrow!