ALA Annual Conference 2023

Gather Round for the ALA Round Tables at #alaac2023

Before #alaac2023 officially started, some of the ALA Round Tables were hosting pre-conference events. Since 2007, the Graphic Novels and Comics Round Table (GNCRT) has hosted a Friday Forum before the ALA opening session.

This year, the GNCRT hosted two panels: Graphic Medicine and Mental Health; and Challenges and Bans. Both panels were comprised of creators and librarians, and it was interesting to hear different perspectives on the topics.

On the first panel, creators Jarrett Krosoczka, Natalie Norris, and Elizabeth Trembley discussed the cathartic and therapeutic effects of writing graphic novels…and how they can be therapeutic for the reader, too. On the Challenges and Bans panel, Jerry Craft, Ryan Estrada, Kim Hyun Sook, and librarian Carla Riemer talked about the current state of censorship in the United States and the similarities and differences between censorship in Korea in the 1980s (the subject of Ryan Estrada and Kim Hyun Sook’s Banned Book Club.) Jerry Craft talked about how he just wants to draw comics! The audience agreed–we all just want to read comics!

Every year, on the Friday evening of Annual, the Games and Gaming Round Table hosts ALA Play. This year, attendees played table top games and mini Role Playing Games. It was fun to learn new games, and many of the game creators are there to explain the rules/how the games work. It was a great way to meet other librarians…how can you not bond with someone after throwing a squishy burrito at them?! Even ALA President-Elect Emily Drabinski was having fun playing Really Loud Librarians.

Joining an ALA Round Table is a great way to meet other librarians to socialize and share ideas. There is an ALA Round Table for every interest. Not sure which Round Table to join? You can take this new quiz to find your perfect ALA Round Table match! (Even some of the answer choices will have you laughing out loud.)

Today’s guest contributor is Soline Holmes (she/her/hers). Soline is a librarian and the Information Services Department chair at Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans, Louisiana. She is a Member-at-Large (and the incoming Secretary) for ALA’s Graphic Novels and Comics Roundtable and a member of ALSC’s Children and Libraries Editorial Advisory Committee. She also serves on the Louisiana Young Readers Choice Award committees for K-2 and 3-5, is a board member of the New Orleans Information Literacy Collective (2021-22 Chair), and is a Teaching with Primary Sources Network Mentor. She has given presentations on graphic novels, Mother Goose and STEM, Primary Sources, and Global Education at local and national conferences. At ALA, she is looking forward to some of her favorite events: the GNCRT Magical Tea and the Newbery/Caldecott/Legacy Banquet. At conference, you might be able to find her munching on red Twizzlers.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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