ALA Annual 2011

Annual Conference Wrap-Up

In a word, this year’s ALA Annual Conference in New Orleans was GREAT! Yes, it was hot, but I learned so much, renewed connections with librarians around the country, met people I had only known through blogs or email, talked with authors and publishers, attended fascinating & useful sessions, asked questions of vendors, AND had lots of fun & great food! Some of the many things I’ve brought back home with me from the annual conference include: The enthusiasm and commitment to continue to research sensory storytimes with the intent to offer this type of program in Fall. The desire to begin to use QR Codes. Seeing QR Codes in use on business cards such as this one from ALA Emerging Leaders Team G: opened my eyes to utilizing QR codes for all types of promotional ideas. They could be used on fliers to promote a Library website, on social…

ALA Annual 2011

Final thoughts on ALA 2011

The 8th annual Poetry Blast was a blast! Despite the late time and date (Monday evening @ 5:30pm), many librarians and fans turned out for the annual poetry blast. Joyce Sidman, Marilyn Singer, and Janet Wong were a few of the featured poets at the event – each poet reading for seven minutes. Highlights for me were Mike Artell’s reading of Petite Rouge: A Cajun Red Riding Hood (definitely added a local flavor to the evening! So happy I found the book in the French Quarter this morning!), and Nikki Grimes’ reading of “First Kiss,” complete with the news that she’ll have a new book out this fall, Planet Middle School, based on the poem. Kristen O’Connell George read from Emma Dilemma: Big Sister Poems . There is nothing like live poetry. All were phenomenal! Don’t miss the Poetry Blast next year, and make poetry a part of every day…

ALA Annual 2011

You can do puppet shows, too!

Shoestring puppet shows! You can’t go wrong with the right book! On Monday morning, Michelle Brzozowski and Chien-Ju Lin of Ocean County Library, NJ, presented “You can do Puppet Shows, too!” at #ala11, and kept the crowd in stitches. With the help of Jon Scieszka and Leah Wilcox, these youth services librarians teach children about art and folktales through hilarious puppet shows – without spending a lot of money! Anyone Seen Art?

ALA Annual 2011

Swag bags for the soul

We love our ARCs, pens, posters, buttons, and endless vendor bags, but it’s the intangible goodies that mean the most at #ALA11. Grand inspiration, practical ideas, and poignant moments – these are what I hope to take away from ALA, whether they come from a session, the exhibit floor, or a conversation with a colleague. To name just a very few of the nuggets I’ve tucked into my brain: Dr. Robinson’s thoughtful description of the range and common features of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and her valuable advice to build relationships with the parents and caregivers of kids with ASD, to get to know the kids, and to remember that non-verbal does not mean unintelligent and that kids with ASD do want human connection – it’s just a lot harder for them. I’ve got new energy, information, and motivation to go back and improve our early literacy services, our teen web,…

ALA Annual 2011

Listen up at #ALA11

What do a medieval girl with a disability, a large, really, really gay teen musical star, and a Boovish alien all have in common? They’re characters voiced in audiobooks honored in the 2011 Odyssey Awards! I attended the Odyssey Award reception and heard fabulous speeches and readings by some of my very favorite audiobook narrators. Katherine Kellgren (pictured), Nick Podehl, Emma Bering, Emily Jane Card, Macleod (pronounced “McLoud”) Andrews, and Bahni Turpin gave wonderful speeches at this year’s reception. We also heard Katherine Kellgren, Nick Podehl, and Macleod Andrews read from their honored books. For an audiophile such as myself, it was certainly a thrill to meet some of my favorite narrators. And I’m kicking myself for not picking up each and every audiobook honored because they all sound fantastic. Believe me, I’ll be rectifying that oversight as soon as I get home!

ALA Annual 2011

Sugary and Wonderful

If you’re visiting New Orleans you must check out Cafe Du Monde, the “original French Market coffee stand.” Both the sugary beignets as well as the Coffee and Chicory, traditionally served Au Lait, are wonderful. And, for those of you who are particularly observant, there is a bite out of one of the beignets. They are that good! (And they were entirely gone shortly after this picture was taken.)

ALA Annual 2011

Best Show Ever!

Last day of #ala11.  This has been a most eventful ALA for me.  I was asked by the NYPL to be on an armchair travel panel at NYLA in November.  My old friend Ellen Myrick has asked me to become an Audie judge….how exciting!  And I am going to become a member of ALSC and blog, which is also very exciting.  Years ago I owned a Children’s bookstore called The Golden Key after the George MacDonald story.  I will love being part of this group. I had so much great feedback this year.  Two librarians offered to help me with the Falcon/hiking program.  Many stopped to talk about the travel titles and asked for catalogs. The food books were very popular.  Thank you to all!

ALA Annual 2011

Want to hear about great new books for kids?

Then the Notable Children’s Books Discussions are for you! These discussions are an opportunity to listen in as some of the best children’s books published this year are discussed by committed and passionate children’s librarians, children’s literature specialists, and professors & educators committed to quality children’s materials. This committee is charged with developing an annual list of books “of especially commendable quality, books that exhibit venturesome creativity, and books of fiction, information, poetry, folklore, and picture books that reflect and encourage children’s interests in exemplary ways.” It’s quite a task… and these eleven committee members are to be commended. Discussions continue today. If you are in New Orleans, I’m sure you would find it fascinating to stop in to the discussions; today they will be discussing informational picture books and nonfiction titles. If you are not able to attend in person, the discussion list is available here.