Below the engaging sessions and awards celebrations of #ALAAC22, the exhibit hall (officially called The Library Marketplace and literally underground), has had a joyful atmosphere the whole conference. On Friday, opening night of the exhibit hall, publishers and vendors actually cheered as librarians and other conference goers descended the escalator. Everyone was so excited to be back!
They had comfort bunnies! I repeat, THEY HAD COMFORT BUNNIES set up in the middle of the show floor for anyone to visit and pet. I nearly swooned from the cute. Then I learned these were comfort rabbits-in-training, preparing to be sent to Uvalde, TX. Swoon with some tears. I love the generosity and empathy of our library community.
Authors and Illustrators Galore
Publishers sure made up for lost time by bringing a ton of authors and illustrators for book signings. ALA New Media Award winners past and present, such as Donna Barba Higuera (2022 Newbery Winner), Michaela Goade (2020 Caldecott Winner), and Jerry Craft (2020 Newbery Winner) and so many more signed their books. Librarians maybe waited in long lines for R.L. Stine but there were so many authors and illustrators it was like you only needed to turn around to find someone whose books you love.
Swag for Grabs
The swag this year almost overwhelmed me, though ultimately I’m thrilled to have so many ARCs and stickers and buttons and bookmarks and flyers to give to kids (or other staff) at my library when I return. Not to mention some cool new tote bags to carry everything around!
Now I just hope I can find a way to get everything back home…
(Photos courtesy of guest blogger)
Conference guest contributor Meg Beade Stowe (she/her/hers) is a Youth Services Librarian at Kitsap Regional Library. She is currently serving on the Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee and is an incoming co-chair for this committee. She is looking forward to all the early learning programs at ALA and wants to attend as many as possible. She is also looking forward to the Newbery100! Celebration and hopefully seeing a few favorite authors and illustrators, too. As a child, she wanted to be a Marine Biologist when she grew up. Now that she has a Masters in Library and Information SCIENCE, she finds it funny that she works at a library system on a peninsula so water is all around her.
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.