ALA Annual 2017

Exhibit Hall #alaac17

As an ALA first timer, the exhibit hall might have been the highlight of my conference experience. I ignored all advice, and I took almost all the ARCs I could get my hands on, resulting in a collection of about 50 books. Some of my favorites include:

  • All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater
  • All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
  • Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart
  • Swing It Sunny by Jennifer Holm
  • There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
  • Warcross by Marie Lu

I did follow some advice, and I packed an empty duffel inside my suitcase. That helped tremendously with getting everything home. I have some excited coworkers and patrons who will love these books!

In addition to ARCs, the exhibit hall contained The Playground @ ALA, an amazing area where attendees could play with some of the latest technology. I experienced virtual reality with a real head set and interactive components (which makes my much-loved Google Cardboard seem sad in comparison). Since I have been purchasing tech for programming my youth department, getting this hands-on experience and one-on-one time with vendors was fantastic. I look forward to doing this again next year!


Make sure to plan time for the exhibit hall early. I stopped by for at least a little time each day, and there were definitely more materials (and less exhausted exhibitors) on Friday and Saturday. Monday is essentially a packing up day, so expect many smaller vendors to have already left and many larger vendors to provide heavy discounts on their remaining products. Many of the large publishers were giving away their display books on Monday, which included some amazing titles.

With so many other things going on at the conference, it is easy to skip the exhibit hall, but make sure to stop by when you can if you get the chance to attend ALA Annual!

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