GameRT presented examples for virtual gaming, as well as resources and tips for introducing them to patrons. Our presenters were Dan Major of Orion Township Public Library (adult services), Erica Ruscio of Ventress Memorial Library (teen services), Rebecca Strang of Naperville Public Library (children’s services), and Jeff Pinsker of AMIGO Games (CEO).
Dr. Jill Biden inspired the Midwinter crowd by providing a mirror of ourselves as educators, guides, and facilitators of welcoming communities. Provoking confidence that our actions truly do make a difference in the lives of those around us, Dr. Biden expressed the need for literature for our youngest patrons because reading helps children understand feelings and situations better than we can explain them ourselves. The First Lady recommends creative outlets for recording memories, personal reflection, and working through emotions (especially during a difficult time like this pandemic). Dr. Biden keeps a stack of books next to her bedside and currently one of them is The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. A wonderful wrap to my first ALA Midwinter, I’m feeling inspired to work on my own creative hobbies! Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.
Scholastic’s “Empowering Young Voices Through Illustrated Stories” was like a behind-the-scenes meeting with the creators of three new picture books. These titles included Lala’s Words by Gracey Zhang, The Little Blue Bridge by Brenda Maier, and Wishes by Mượn Thị Văn and Victo Ngai. All eloquent storytellers, visual and written, the creators put emphasis on the importance of empathy and multicultural representation, as well as believing in oneself and the change that we can create ourselves. Mượn Thị Văn says these steps can be big or small and has hope that readers will be empowered to take them after reading Wishes. Brenda Maier pointed out a lesson in The Little Blue Bridge, that you cannot control others, only how you react to a situation yourself. Gracey Zhang expressed how important words are and the way they are used, as well as the importance of the images and what they portray….
This morning’s Graphic Novel/Gaming Stage featured the renowned cartoonist and storyteller, Stan Sakai. The creator of the famed fantasy comic book series Usagi Yojimbo, Sakai presented a compelling introduction to his artistic process and the sources of inspiration that brought about this epic anthropomorphic saga. Sakai relates memories of visiting his local library in Hawaii to return books and the joy it brought him to see his book on top of the pile. He explains the Italian origins of the term “cartoonist” and how this profession started with poking holes in cardboard to create an outline. Stan Sakai absolutely loves comic books! They brought him his lifelong love of reading! A favorite was delving into the Lord of the Rings books, which became an annual adventure due their exciting plots.