ALA Midwinter 2019

Seattle Sights #alamw19

I wrapped up the conference by seeing the Seattle sights, and I’m so glad that I had the chance to do so. So often, I have to fly back home before I can see much more than the conference center, but this time it worked out great. And really, having done this, I might make a real point of exploring every time, as I think that I sometimes forget to experience the amazing cities that we visit. This year, I was lucky to run into a dear friend from Chicago (I love it when you run into librarian friends at conference!), and we explored the city together. Of course, we saw the Space Needle, and it was incredible! The weather was fantastic, and we had so much fun looking at the city and trying to identify landmarks. We also had a chance to visit the Chihuly Gardens, located right near…

ALA Midwinter 2019

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! #alamw19 #alayma19

Just got back from the YMAs, and it was just as wonderful/exciting/thrilling/heartwarming as I had hoped. It is such a thrill to see these talented authors, illustrators, narrators, and librarians honored for the work that they do. The atmosphere in the room was amazing, exploding with excitement and passion. As each winner and honoree was announced, I heard shouts, clapping, exclamations of “Yes!,” “Perfect!,” “I’m so glad!.” What an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere. When I attend the YMAs, I’m reminded again of how much I love being part of the good work that we do as librarians. Congratulations to all on a job well done!

ALA Midwinter 2019

Yes, We’re Ready to Code! #alamw19 #ReadytoCode

I’ve gone through many obsessions in my life (knitting, gardening, Pokémon-ing), but currently, I’m all about coding. Coding for littles, middles, and bigs—all of it is fantastically interesting to me. Happily, this year’s Midwinter Conference has had a lot to offer. Today, I attended a really great program led by Claudia Haines of the Homer (AK) Public Library, Paula Langsam of the D.C. Public Library, Juan Rubio of the Seattle Public Library, and Marijke Visser, from the ALA Office of Public Policy who also serves as the Ready to Code Lead. The first part of this session was devoted to a discussion about some important issues that we as librarians grapple with when introducing computational thinking into our programs. It was really cool to listen to these librarians and teachers and get some insight into how they think about the work that we do. Here are some of the questions…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Early Literacy and Computational Thinking #alamw19

Computational thinking…okay, so that’s a big word! I kinda sorta knew what it meant, but I was so interested to see how this might translate into practical information that I could use at my library. And that’s why I was really glad that I attended this afternoon’s session on computational thinking (CT) for young children—“Making the Connection: Early Literacy and Computational Thinking for Young Children,” led by Claudia Haines of Homer (Alaska) Public Library and Paula Langsam of the D.C. Public Library. It was jam-packed with people, tips, ideas, and lots of hands-on activities. Oh, plus dancing! You really couldn’t ask for more. During this session, we learned about several important CT skills, including pattern recognition, decomposition, algorithm design, and abstraction. Again, these seem like really big words, but when you get past that, you start to see how these skills can be taught to young children in some easy…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Anti-Bias Education and Children’s Literature #alamw19

I’m so glad that I had the opportunity to attend this morning’s session, Leadership and ALSC. What a great chance to meet some new people and start having important conversations about the steps that we’ve taken and need to keep on taking in regards to diversity and racial justice. This morning’s keynote speaker, Debbie LeeKeenan, raised so many important and thought-provoking points—it’s hard to know where to start! I would happily listen to the entire presentation again, as it was packed with such important stuff. Here are a few of the takeaways that I will be pondering long after this conference has come to a close: • Being fair is not the same as being equal. Equality is everyone getting the same thing, but equity is everyone getting what they need. This could look different for all of us and the people we connect with, but it’s a vitally important…

ALA Midwinter 2019

#alamw19 ALSC Dinner with Friends

Yup, jet lag is definitely a thing, and it’s rearing its ugly head right now. Before I fall into bed, though, I just had to write a little about the ALSC Membership Dinner which I attended tonight. ALSC’s Membership Committee (particularly Jennifer Knight and Ashley Waring) deserve a big round of applause, since they worked very hard to organize this awesome event. Basically, we organized small dinners throughout town where new and seasoned ALSC members could spend quality time together before the conference kicked into high gear. Simple, but brilliant! We had a great turnout for dinners, and it was so nice to meet some new friends. My group ate at Stateside, a fantastic Asian fusion restaurant not far from the conference center. Sooooo yummy! We shared a bunch of fascinating and delicious dishes (so exciting, because then we didn’t have to choose just one!), including everything from crispy duck…