ALA Annual 2024

The Post-ALA Annual Conference TBR Pile

Meeting authors and illustrators is an exciting part of attending #alaac24. I feel very lucky to have been able to attend the conference this year. While I didn’t have time to meet everyone I wanted to, I was able to pick up several advance reading copies to take home. Here’s what I’m most excited to read. If you picked up any great ARCs at #alaac24 or elsewhere, I’d love to know what’s on your list! Conference Blogger Celeste Rhoads (she/her/hers) is originally from John Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas, California, where she read on the beach, in trees, on road trips, and everywhere in between. She moved to Paris in 2005, and immediately found a home at the American Library in Paris. As the Children’s and Teens’ Services Manager, she oversees the Library’s collections, policies, and programs for ages 0–18. Celeste has a master’s degree in Library Science from Rutgers University, where she…

ALA Annual 2024

Making Connections, Keeping in Touch – After #alaac24

Meeting new contacts and potential friends is one of the main highlights of attending a professional conference such as #alaac24. But how do you keep in touch once we’ve headed home to our respective cities? It’s one thing to follow a blog or Instagram account of a librarian you admire, but the personal connections are truly meaningful. I’m located on another continent, so I’ve had a lot of practice keeping in touch over long distances, and I’m grateful for the tools we have at our disposal to remain in contact with professional networks and individuals who live and work far away, but it still takes time to maintain connections. I have a few tips for things you can do now and in the coming weeks and months to nurture those new connections:  Send an email today. If you traded business cards with someone fun/kind/interesting/funny/inspiring then send a note now so…

ALA Annual 2024

Get Up and Dance!

There are so many new and exciting ideas for programming and services circulating here at #alaac24, but I’m also grateful for the reminders about important elements we should all be building into our existing programs. How do we engage a young audience, hold their attention, and make the most of the limited time we have together to make each program into a valuable learning opportunity? One panel titled SING, TALK, READ: Engaging the Brain, Body, and Senses through Nonfiction Picture Books included great suggestions for ways to incorporate music, movement, and nonfiction texts into storytimes.  Ask questions—and give children space to respond. Through thoughtfully curated programs, we, as librarians, can encourage open conversations about identity, celebrate the diversity of our communities, and spark conversations. An important reminder for all of us who host storytimes is to engage our young audiences with critical thinking questions before and after readings. We can…

ALA Annual 2024

Be Realistic: Managing Time and Expectations 

As noted by many conference attendees, and my fellow bloggers, being at #alaac24 is exciting and energizing, but the options are overwhelming. I like to block chunks of time to tour the exhibit hall where conference attendees can meet with vendors, take a peek at advance copies (ARCs) of new titles, and meet authors and illustrators. I usually plan these trips to the exhibit hall around one or two authors or illustrators whom I’d like to meet, and I have a backup plan in case the line is too long, so I don’t endlessly stroll the exhibit hall eating free candy.

ALA Annual 2024

Beyond ChatGPT: AI in Libraries

A glance at the schedule at #alaac24 makes it clear that library professionals are concerned about the effects of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on learning and in educational settings, and are curious about the ways AI can be used in libraries. How do we educate our users about using AI in an ethical manner, and what does that even mean? Librarians have always been in a position to help society adapt to new technology. We’re poised to help students with AI, but we need to understand AI ourselves. With that thought in mind, I added several sessions focused on AI to my agenda this weekend: Breaking Boundaries: Harnessing the Power of Artificial Intelligence and ChatGPT to Transform Library Services and How AI is Transforming the Way We Read, Write, and Learn.

ALA Annual 2024

Meet, Connect, Share, Wear Flair

Heading into the Saturday sessions at #alaac24, I’m excited to connect with fellow library workers who I haven’t seen in person in a long time, and eager to attend many of the poster sessions, panels and signings offered. There’s so much to choose from when attending a conference of this scale that it can be daunting! I’m also looking forward to making new connections in my field of services for children and teens and with other library professionals too.

ALA Annual 2024

Want to know more about Manga? #alaac24 is the place to learn! 

I flew across an ocean and a continent to be here with the dynamic and inspiring librarians, authors, and other professionals at #alaac24, and I was excited for my first Friday session where I was planning to connect with former committee members I worked with. Living abroad, I’m grateful for the chance to participate in committees virtually, but virtual participation might also mean that you never meet your colleagues face to face. My former GNCRT cohort Kacy Helwick was participating in a panel discussion on comics (Reading and Collecting Manga 101), and I was excited to meet her in person, and eager to learn more about how I could boost the manga collection in my library. So, I headed to room 23 and settled in to learn more. I left the Reading and Collecting Manga 101 session inspired—and with a long list of titles to purchase! What a great start…