ALA Annual 2017

Words in the Wind in Chicago

There are so many components to the Annual Conference: the plane, bus or train ride; the endless shuttle bus lines and rides; the exhibit hall, the convention center, the streets of the City. In all of those places, librarians are talking and sharing notes, authors are proselytizing, publishers are book-talking, and people are shaking hands, sharing hugs, and being happy together. I’ve attempted to capture some of those moments, small snippets of conversations, lectures, and speeches. I hope a few of them might spark a memory you’ve already forgotten about #ALAAnnual2017.

In the interest of protecting everyone’s privacy I’ve made all quotations anonymous.

At Breakfast:
• I owe her a debt for life – she recruited me to be a children’s Librarian.
• I’m going to find a copy of my book to give to those lovely people from 20th Century Fox.

At the Convention Center:
• Today’s Cognotes, get your Cognotes, read all about it in Cognotes!
• I don’t make mistakes…I believe in the process and go where it takes me.
• I love to write in the Children’s Department of the Philadelphia Library.
• A story never comes out perfect the first time.
• Can I please have a copy of (insert author)’s new book, I LOVED all the others.
• I looked up Walt Disney’s date of death hoping it would coincide with my birthday, then I would be his re-incarnation.
• Books are Ambassadors!

On the Shuttle Bus:
• I read in ALL the romance languages (on the shuttle bus).

Presidents’ Programs:
• The Public library is the only institution that accepts everyone, wherever their starting point is, and moves them forward.
• And I say this to Librarians – why don’t we just get rid of “The Box?”
• When you hand a child a device, continue to be dialogic.

Last but not least, a few jokes, told by women:
• How do you get 1,000 Pikachus on the bus? You “poke ‘em on”
• What do you get when you combine an elephant and a rhino? ‘Ell if I know”

And it wouldn’t be conference if you didn’t hear this one:
• I can’t wait to see you next year!


Andrea Milano is the Youth Services Manager at Lake Oswego Public Library just a few miles outside of Portland, OR. She has read thousands of books in her life, but her new longer commute has presented an opportunity to log time listening to audiobooks, her current favorite is As Brave As You by Jason Reynolds. You can reach her at

One comment

  1. Christopher Brown

    How lovely to come into work on a cloudy Monday and see that anonymous quote about the Children’s Department at the Free Library of Philadelphia! We love it when authors and illustrators visit. 🙂
    — Chris

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