ALA Midwinter 2019

Goodbye Emerald City, Hello Polar Vortex #alamw19

I’ll be heading back to the Midwest tomorrow, where we’ll be seeing some of the coldest temperatures on record. While I’m not looking forward to that bitter cold, I am looking forward to getting back to serving my patrons. A conference always has that effect on me. I feel rejuvenated and hopeful, especially after the results of the YMAs. Merci Suarez Changes Gears is a book I’ve been plugging since it came out and I was so thrilled that it won the Newbery Medal. I am also a huge Neil Gaiman fan and am so pumped that he’ll be giving the 2020 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. I’ll also be doing a Mock Caldecott with staff as we did one last year and we all had a great time. Hello, Lighthouse, this year’s winner, was one of the titles I had set aside for our Mock Caldecott. Another highlight of…

ALA Midwinter 2019

It’s the Most Exciting Day of the Year! #alamw19 #alayma

It’s the YMAs! There is a giant room full of librarians and other professionals who have all had very little sleep. We’ve all ventured out before the sun has even thought about coming up and the feeling in this room is electric! For those of you who’ve never been, it’s not like award shows on TV. No one comes up to accept an award or give a thank you speech. It’s really just award announcements and a way to acknowledge the committees who have worked so hard all year to select these honor and award books. It’s a day of excitement for librarians because we have been reading and recommending these books all year. It’s so thrilling when a book you’ve loved and tried to promote to patrons is on one of these lists. If you’re left behind you can follow the webcast or a livestream on the I Love…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Free Cake! #alamw19

I’ve had such a busy day and now to reward myself with Libraries Transform cake! It’s right outside Exhibit Hall 4A if you hurry! This morning I popped in to see Rick Steves discuss Travel as a Political Act. Then I ran over to see author Monique Gray Smith discuss her book Speaking Our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation. My favorite take away from her presentation was when she said “Guilt or shame are not emotions that move us forward. It has to be love.” Next, I recharged with some yoga led by author and instructor Dianne Bondy. Did you know there is a Yoga & Meditation room on the second floor?! I shipped some books back to my library using the post office on the exhibit floor. Then I went to Community, Equity and Storytime presented by CiKeithia Pugh of the Seattle Public Library and Betha Gutsche of OCLC….

ALA Midwinter 2019

All of My Childhood Dreams Have Come True! #alamw19 @thepublicmovie1

When I was a child, I was a huge Emilio Estevez fan. My brother and I would rush home after school to watch his movies on VHS. When I first saw the trailer for “The Public” I was thrilled someone I admired as a child had made a film about libraries. Last night I was able to see that film and I was impressed. In the discussion afterward, Estevez mentioned this film was 12 years in the making. As a public librarian I recognized a good amount of my own patrons in the film. I also recognized a lot of the attitudes of people unfamiliar with libraries. I hope this film will help be an advocate for what we do and help to change some of those attitudes. The discussion after the film was moderated by Ryan Dowd of Hessed House in Aurora, IL. My library is in Illinois and…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Pushing on the Frontier: Disability Access and the Future of Libraries #alamw19

“We have to work together on this.” Wise words from Kate Deibel, Inclusion and Accessibility Librarian at Syracuse University Libraries. Her presentation on disability access in libraries really has me thinking of all the ways we can make our library more accessible and how that applies to library services for children. Kate’s suggestion to involve patrons and staff in the planning process when preparing for increased accessibility certainly resonates. We can ask children and caregivers what they would like to see. If you’re doing a survey though, you must remember to make it accessible. It defeats the point of the survey if the patrons you’re trying to reach can’t complete that survey. Kate also discussed web accessibility in detail and how many vendors websites are not accessible. She recommends that if we stand together in demanding more accessibility for our patrons and staff, we will succeed. It may take some…

ALA Midwinter 2019

#alamw19 So You Want to Podcast…

Our teen librarian and I have been talking about starting a Podcast Club for 5th-8th graders. In our Children’s Services Department we serve ages birth-6th grade and the Teen Services Department serves grades 7th-12th. We have started doing crossover programs for grades 5th-8th to make the transition smoother for kids going from the Children’s department to the Teen department. We’ve both been interested in podcasting but know nothing about it. Today’s panel discussion So You Want to Podcast… was very informative and helped me realize that I don’t have to be afraid of podcasting. Panelists Phil Morehart (Dewey Decibel podcast), Gwen Glazer (The Librarian Is In), Adriane Juarez (Library Leadership Podcast) and Joseph Janes (Documents That Changed the World) discussed their podcasts and everything that goes into making them successful. Here were some of the main take aways for me: “Writing to be heard is different than writing to be…

ALA Midwinter 2019

#alamw19 Rock Those Ribbons!

I’ve just emerged from the Black Friday-like rush of the exhibits opening and have broken my promise to myself to not accept too much swag. However, I’m super happy with what I’ve received and can’t wait to focus more on panel discussions and giving the exhibits a closer look tomorrow. Another fun part of the conference is getting these ribbons to attach to your badge. There are so many more than just the ones I’ve grabbed tonight. You can visit the Ribbon Bar to get yours!  

ALA Midwinter 2019

#alamw19 It’s Almost Time!

What should I pack? Decisions, decisions. I’m going from negative temperatures to a beautiful (and I don’t mean that sarcastically) 50 degrees so knowing what to pack is a bit tricky. Especially when I have so many literary accessories and it’s so cold at home and so mild in Seattle. The thing to remember if you’ve never been to a conference of this size is to pack light so you can bring as much swag back as possible! The other option is to ship your swag back or try to limit your swag accumulation, which is difficult. I tell myself each time that I will not take too much stuff, but it’s so hard to say no to tote bags and ARCs (Advanced Reading Copies). I’m looking forward to the opening exhibits tonight, the showing of Emilio Estevez’s film The Public, the YMAs and much, much more! We’ve just arrived…