As a lifelong student, I don’t mind an academic, lecture-style presentation at conferences, but a great panel with an engaging interactive component is always a delight, and at #alaac22, a team from Evanston Public Library (EPL) offered exactly that with their session titled, “Beyond Booklists: Family Engagement Through Race and Culture Education at the Library.”
Author: Sara Beth Coffman
Toward Inclusion and Equity for Young Children in Public Library Programs
A Pivot to Crowdsourced Wisdom and Resource Sharing #alaac22 After all the pandemic-related shifts to programming and policy, most folks are weary of the word “pivot,” but there is no better word for what a room full of librarians did at #alaac22 when the presentation they were looking forward to fell through. The topic: accessibility and inclusion for children with disabilities and their caregivers. The room was prepared well for such an event, with ASL interpreters and on-the-fly closed captioning (which was excellent, by the way) simultaneously available. Upon realizing the presenters would not be arriving, a few intrepid leaders took the mic and suggested we use the time anyway, offering to tap into the collective wisdom in the room. What followed was an inspiring and truly remarkable session, full of ideas, insights, and an amazing sense of community and solidarity. As we all began to realize what a gift…
Highlights from the #LibLearnX Virtual Mystery Hunt
It’s Day 4 of LibLearnX, and I am so excited for all the #ALA Youth Media Award winners and honorees! There are several titles on those lists that are new to me, and I can’t wait to hunt them down and give them a look. To wind down from all that joyful energy, I returned to complete the Virtual Mystery Hunt, and it was more challenging than I expected, but I WAS VICTORIOUS. I’m happy to have finished, but beyond the brain itch these puzzles scratched so nicely, I actually learned a lot about ALA and all it has to offer. Here are some of the highlights:
The Annoying SpiderMan: Overcoming the Shelving Challenges of Comics & Graphic Novels Through In-House Classification #LibLearnX
Every time I am shelving in our comics and graphic novels section, I face the following reality: comics and graphic novels do not easily conform to our traditional classification schemes. LibLearnX Presenter Jack Phoenix knows this and offered a fantastic presentation on in-house classification alternatives that just might fix the problem AND make your comics and graphic novels more browsable, more visually appealing, and more accessible. Phoenix, author of the 2020 book Maximizing the Impact of Comics in Your Library: Graphic Novels, Manga, and More, noted librarian’s tendency to shoehorn things that aren’t traditional books into systems that don’t support them before reminding participants that, “Dewey didn’t see these things coming.” The traditional practice of organizing titles by creator does not work for comics for many reasons, not least of which is the argument made by Phoenix that, “Creator or even title are often not the main point of access”…
Kicking off #LibLearnX with the LLX Virtual Mystery Hunt
What’s that you say? An escape room style puzzle game with loads of great information? A virtual experience that somehow manages to be more engaging than if the same details had been presented in person? Count. Me. In.
At #ALAAC21, Beanstack Offers Connection between School and Public Libraries
Attendees at past, in-person ALA conferences know that one of the best ways to learn about new programs or software offerings is by walking the exhibit hall floor. You may not have arrived that day looking for a new summer reading incentive program or a unique tool to facilitate community engagement, but the vendors are there to show you exactly that!
Diversity in Children’s Literature and in Your Library #ALAAC21
ALA Annual Conference has tremendous featured speakers, and we’ve all enjoyed hearing from the stars like Stanley Tucci and Nikole Hannah-Jones, but the real learning often takes place in the quieter sessions. Over the last few days, I’ve benefited from multiple sessions that focus on diversity in children’s literature and our responsibility to diversify our collections.
Developing Your Collection, One #ALAAC21 Session at a Time
Though there is much to learn at ALA Annual Conference, everyone knows that the most common takeaway from sessions is titles to add to your next order! Here are the ones that are certain to receive a boost from day one at ALA Annual. Change Sings by Amanda Gorman, illustrated by Loren Long (available 9.21.21) The opening session, moderated by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, was a warm and effusive celebration of words and pictures, music and poetry, change and change-makers. After poet Amanda Gorman read a few lines from the book, and illustrator Loren Long talked about his inspirations and decision-making with the art, this beautiful picture book rocketed on to the lists of librarians everywhere. Run: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, illustrated by L. Fury and Nate Powell (available 8.3.21) From the team that brought us the inimitable March trilogy, we can now look forward…