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#alavirtual20 The difference is US.

A Virtual conference experience is different! That difference makes you stop and think okay, what usually makes a conference a great experience? Been looking at the difference and where the treasure lies – what makes it memorable and what makes it matter? When you’re in person by the time you get to the third day of a conference you’re making some careful decisions about how you’re going to use your legs and your brain. You’ve walked a few miles by now. You’ve saturated your neurons by now. Those doors on the hotel hallways aren’t opening quite as early as they were on the first two days. What are you looking for at this point in the conference? When I really think about it, at this point I’m looking for those moments when I sit down at table for lunch and I don’t know anyone else at that table. It takes…

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#ALAVirtual20 Stacy Abrams Powerhouse

Powerhouse Stacy Abrams is speaking now about the twin challenges of COVID19 and systemic racism and the impact of both on our African American community. How can libraries and librarians be a part of the change? Her answer: Reformation and Transformation. We need to reform the system with new policies and new laws and we need to transform the system by directing more dollars to education and health care to eliminate inequities. Libraries are trusted resources. Libraries are bedrock in the community. We are places where people can go to get honest and reliable information about the 2020 Census and about voter registration. Through the power of each vote and through counting each citizen especially those who are underrepresented inequities can be challenged and transformed. Librarians can create best practices to be front line workers in these powerful changes.

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#alamw20 What’s next?

#alamw20 Change is coming to ALA Midwinter 2022.  Conversations in the halls about the coming change include more educational opportunities for our professional development. Perhaps more virtual committees.  Awards committees would still meet onsite at Midwinter. I had the privilege of speaking with ALSC President Cecelia McGowan this morning. ALA website has a Forward Together link where we can get the information on where things are as we look to future conferences. In line now to board the train for home. Paid to ship 70 pounds of books home. (I will be baking my husband a blueberry pie so he will smile as the books arrive on the front porch. After 45 years of marriage he probably already knows the books are coming- just wants to be sure he gets his pie.)  

ALA Midwinter 2020

#ALAMW20 Listening to Doors Swinging Wide

Spent the first day listening. A fellow passenger getting off the train in Philly said she didn’t remember what the Newbery and Caldecott Medals are but got excitement in her voice when I explained them. A librarian from Ohio shared how deeply concerned she is about censorship of books allowed into the hands -and minds- of folks who are incarcerated and how she is going to research this issue deeply. An author at a booth in the Exhibit Hall described seeing tears in the eyes of a librarian who had stopped for a moment to read a poem in this author’s book  and with eyes brimming had discovered loving poetry for the very first time. So privileged to watch a man sit down to a steak dinner last night among a roomful of librarians who had read his story and heard him talk about all the years he lived in…

ALA Annual 2019

#alaac19 Sometimes you just get lucky

Got on the MARC train to head to DC yesterday morning and when the conductor came by he said someone had left a ticket on the train -unused-and he let me ride for free. Talk about lucky. Went to lunch at Le Mirch and sat next to a woman named Patsy who talked about working with the state-owned publisher in China that publishes 50,000 books a year and wants to give Chinese children books that will make them more familiar with how children live in other countries. The conversation ran to how American and Chinese children are isolated in their own countries and their own cultures.Books can change that.  Talk about lucky to be a librarian to be part of that change. Walked past The Willard Hotel yesterday and thought about all the change that has been born there. Talk about lucky. Heard Alicia D. Williams talk about how every…