#alamw18 Is that really Susan Cooper?

You come to ALA Midwinter for moments like this. Seattle librarian Craig Seasholes was in the Exhibit Hall when I caught up with him and had the magical moment of asking him, Craig, have you met Susan Cooper?”  Another librarian, Debra, walked over and we got to make her day as well.  I can report there were tears involved.  Susan Cooper…yes THAT Susan Cooper was in the house. The long enduring power of Susan’s books reaches us in a very special place. This is that intangible something that makes libraries and librarians essential.  Reconnecting with that magical feeling….yep bring on Sunday…let’s see what other treasures are waiting.

ALA Midwinter 2017

#alamw17 Moving Forward

A swell of energy and sound reached my hotel room fourteen floors up.  Down in the streets of Atlanta women were marching and men were marching and families were marching.  There were chants and signs and a steady moving forward. Inside the walls as they passed us the American Library Association Mid-Winter Conference was taking place. I texted my daughter.  (You couldn’t text in the 60s but you can now.)  Sent her a picture of what it was like to be on the streets of Atlanta…marching along …I didn’t have a sign to carry …just two feet and a big smile.  Part of the roar and the swell.    

ALA Midwinter 2017

#alamw17 It’s the People You Meet

What’s your biggest fear about coming to ALA Mid-Winter? Do you imagine yourself walking into a room and not knowing anyone? What comes after that? I walked into that place last night and before I could even really step into the room two librarians turned to me and started talking. They turned out to be from Texas..one was Sharon Lawler who I think you would say “chairs” the Texas Bluebonnet list..I learned that’s a three year job and she works with a great group who vets books for grades 3-6. Her partner in crime was Dana Hutchins ..also from Texas..she chairs a YA Lit Roundtable ..I know I am messing that title up..but the important thing is she loves working with middle schoolers and books. As I moved into the room I had the chance to have R. Gregory Christie (FREEDOM IN CONGO SQUARE) introduce me to MOUSETROPOLIS..his city mouse/country…

ALA Annual 2016

Day Three: Everything Is Connected. #alaac16

At lunch today Allyn Johnston of Beach Lane Books talked about how she and her team create the vibe of their very special imprint.  She described it as “giving readers an experience you care about; finding the beating heart to your picture book…an emotional center….giving the reader a chance to have an emotional experience …and it has to be fun.” That pretty much describes the experience at the Newbery Caldecott Wilder Banquet.

ALA Annual 2016

Day Two continues with a Moo! #alaac16

Hiked down to the Exhibit Hall and headed over to Harper Collins where the lovely Stephanie Macy handed me a copy of MOO by the one and only Sharon Creech.  It’s one of those books that makes your heart stand still for a second…you just have that feeling you are holding something really amazing. That one definitely goes into the carry-on bag to read on the plane flight home.

ALA Annual 2016

Day Two: Kate DiCamillo #alaac16

Sometimes you need something exceptional to start your day..something more than just a cup,of tea..and around Day Two that something better be not just good but great.  The brain is beginning to send hints of maximum capacity. Looking across the room at Kate DiCamillo can lift the morning fog and hearing her speak can remind you why you do this thing of being a children’s librarian. Kate just finished her role as Ambassador and came home from her travels with great news.  She had heard about the demise of reading and readers but saw a different story as she visited school after school.