After my first ALA Annual, my friend, (shoutout Debby) said we had to join Twitter to connect with all the librarians and book people there! I signed up- and started all these wonderful library connections! Including hearing about really cool unofficial events– like a “Storytime Deep Dive” in the Networking Uncommons hosted by the amazing Mel (of Mel’s Desk!!!) She magnanimously hosted an informal storytime chat where children’s librarians and youth services team members got together to talk about storytime gripes and philosophies.
It was really great to talk to children’s library staff from around the US- in the hour or two I sat there, we had a children’s librarian from Hawaii and one from Alaska!
While I love fangirling to children’s authors and illustrators, it means so much more to sit down with people who write the blogs that I consult for storytime, programming, and general library ideas! Just to name drop– there was Storytime Katie, Bryce Don’t Play, and Never Shushed! And not only sitting with them, but sharing and discussing problems, solutions, and ponderments of library service to youth! Some things we discussed were handling large crowds, the stress of crafting, fun dance songs, and rejuvenating the love of storytime.
Without Twitter, I would not have known about this event. So, if you are looking for cool or different options at conferences- don’t forget to search and use social media!