ALA Annual Conference 2023

Remarkable Resources

After having attended my first full ALA Annual Conference, my head is still spinning from…

  • Meeting awe-inspiring library professionals IN REAL LIFE
  • Attending sessions and feeling challenged to learn and do more
  • Sitting in the back during THE Newbery-Caldecott-Legacy Banquet and feeling grateful for waterproof mascara
  • Seeing the Geisel Award and Honor creators recognized for their incredible work after having served on the Geisel Award Selection Committee this past year
  • Visiting the booths to learn about remarkable resources while also adding to my TBR list with ARC after ARC after ARC

That last point got me thinking about online resources I regularly use and love. These come in handy for program ideas or for providing resources to use in programs I’ve created.

  • Smithsonian Learning Lab: There’s nothing like having virtually the entire Smithsonian Institution at your fingertips! You can access SI’s content. You can curate your own collections. You can use other collections, including those of specific museums. This is one of my go-to remarkable resources, and their professional development webinars are fantastic!
  • NASA: NASA was well-represented at ALAAC this year, and it’s no surprise. What they do is, pardon the groan, out of this world, as are the resources they provide for educators. Who knew they were taking pictures of the sun every 3/4 of a second??
  • STAR Net: This was also a booth at Annual Conference. I love STAR Net because it’s specific to library professionals. Their STEM Activity Clearinghouse? Amazing!
  • The National Museum of Women in the Arts is closed for renovation, but they have interesting curriculum and resources on their website. Although designed for classroom teachers, some of the activities are easily adaptable to library programs.
  • The Library of Congress: This booth, right at the front of the Exhibit Hall, was so beautiful! The LoC’s Minerva’s Kaleidoscope blog has resources for families of children ages 7 to 16. Classroom materials are also plentiful and could provide program ideas or supplement a program you’ve already planned.
Colorful ceiling of Library of Congress booth at ALA Annual Conference 2023
Beautiful ceiling of the Library of Congress exhibit at ALA Annual Conference, photo courtesy of author.

It’s your turn! What remarkable resources have you found online? Please share your favorite websites for program ideas or program resources in the comments.

This blog post addresses the following ALSC Core Competencies: I. Commitment to Client Group and III. Programming Skills.

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