ALA Annual 2019

ALSC Preconference Program – It’s not too late!

One of the most exciting things about attending an ALA conference is having the opportunity to meet the creative and interesting people who bring us outstanding books for children.  From the Newbery/Caldecott/Legacy Banquet to the Pura Belpré Celebración, attendees can hear the inspirational stories of the honorees and stand in receiving lines to shake their hands and say a few words.  Those who serve on award committees sometimes have the pleasure of spending some quality time with the authors and illustrators and these are moments that they always treasure.

But what about those authors, illustrators and publishers whose books have silver medals on their covers?  They are just as creative and interesting and spending time with them can be just as inspirational and fun.

ALSC Preconference Program information with pictures of authors

Every other year, ALSC organizes a preconference honoring the silver medalists and giving attendees the opportunity to spend time chatting with these honorees.  Most of the authors, illustrators and publishers who brought us the Honor Books for the Newbery, Caldecott, Sibert, Geisel, Batchelder and Belpré Awards will be attending the 2019 ALSC Preconference on Friday, June 21 from 11:30 am – 4:00 pm at the Washington Hilton Hotel.

ALSC Preconference Program information with pictures of authors

The committee has put together a fun program which includes panel discussions and small group sessions. Attendees can hear favorite authors and an editor talk about how books for children can explore identity in a variety of ways or they can listen to a stimulating discussion about friendship and some interesting relationships that are explored in children’s books.  Other panel discussions focus on the idea of how characters can find grace in unexpected ways, sometimes during difficult circumstances and how authors and illustrators are able to convey that difficult concept in a way that children can understand it.

ALSC Preconference Program information with pictures of authors

Or they can have close encounters with authors in a round robin setting that allows for questions and conversations in a more intimate setting. Or engage in a fun Pictionary activity with honored illustrators.

ALSC Preconference Program information with pictures of authors

Lunch is included and gives the attendees an additional opportunity to mingle with honorees by sharing a table with one or more of the medalists.  And, of course, there will be swag!  The cost is reasonable for a day of rubbing elbows with prominent names in the kidlit sphere.

  • ALSC members: $120
  • ALA members: $175
  • Non-members: $200

ALSC Preconference Program information with pictures of authors

So, if you enjoy meeting and chatting with authors and illustrators and getting to know them on a more personal level, then the ALSC preconference is the place for you.  It isn’t too late to register for this event, which promises to be fun, informative and inspiring.  For more information go to or contact the ALSC office.

Today’s post was written by Jean Hatfield, a member of this year’s Award Preconference Planning Committee.

This post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: Professionalism and Professional Development & Knowledge Curation and Management of Materials.

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