ALA Annual 2013

A fine balance

So far this conference #ala2013 has been a fine balance of work and celebration, and it’s all been excellent fun (not to mention pretty good weather.  Remember that you need rain to make a rainbow). Friday – Helped present a preconference workshop on outcomes-based summer reading programs (see the CA Library Association website for more information on the concept).  Great stuff – but couldn’t help envying those folks attending the Caldecott preconference! Friday night – Dinner with Steve Sheinkin, the MacMillan folks and my dynamic Newbery committee.  It was da Bomb!  (heh) And then there was the ALA Think Tank party.  Free margaritas.  Much dancing and mixing with local Blackhawks fans.  No photos thereof, thank goodness. Saturday morning – Missed not one but two sessions due to a blissful lie-in.  Then off to be a panelist at the What’s Hot in STEAM Programming session.  If you’re interested in preschoolers, Every…

ALA Annual 2013

Author Inspiration

I had two opportunities to hear authors today at #ala2013 and both knocked my socks off! I decided several months ago to attend the Bookmobile Saturday: Author Lunch, hosted by OLOS , which required a $25 ticket.  Lauren Myracle and Audrey Niffenegger were the guest speakers, and since my daughter has declared herself Lauren Myracle’s “biggest fan,” I figured it would be a great opportunity to meet her. I planned to stick to the free programs during my first ALA Annual Conference, but I highly recommend trying a ticketed event.  For $25, I received a yummy lunch, heard two talented authors speak, and received signed copies of each of their books, courtesy of Abrams Books.  It was much more fun than standing in long lines in the crowded Exhibit Hall for an author signing. And Lauren Myracle signed my daughter’s copy of Twelve! I also attended a program called “Krosoczka! TenNapel!…

ALA Annual 2013

Extending Books Beyond the Page at #ala2013

Extending books beyond the page is a big part of my personal library philosophy. Getting a kid to read a book is great, but getting a kid to take the ideas and stories from the book and use it to spark creativity and curiosity is even better. Today at the conference I attended several sessions that were chock full of creative ideas that are sure to inspire kids to create and explore. This morning the panel of presenters in Multicultural Programming for Families made me want to rush back to work to plan a program to celebrate the wonderfully diverse cultures of our world as they shared pictures and insight into planning multicultural programs, such as Dia. Immediately following I attended the Take Ten with Teens and Tweens presented by three librarians from the Anne Arundel County Public Library. These energetic ladies presented the group with 10 easy, creative (and…

ALA Annual 2013

Connected Kids at #ala2013

This afternoon I stopped by the poster sessions in the Exhibit Hall to check out a poster by a former colleague of mine: Connected Kids: Technology Programs to Inspire Creative Exploration. The folks at the Barrington (IL) Area Library are doing some awesome technology programs with kids, including light painting, LEGO Mindstorms, and website “hacking”. Some of their tips? Start small Listen to the community It is acceptable not to be an expert Don’t try to fit technology to an age group I especially think it’s important to note that you don’t have to be a tech genius to offer technology programs at your library!

ALA Annual 2013

Celebrating Rock Star YA Authors at #ala2013

Pinch me!! Last night I was sitting next to Marie Lu, the author of the amazing Legend series, gushing about how much I love her books. I had spent the last two weeks inhaling Legend and Prodigy, hanging on every word. And now I had the opportunity to visit with her over dinner. Wow-oh -wow. The opportunity to meet and visit with authors is always a real highlight of ALA Annual conferences. I feel so tremendously lucky to be able to connect with authors I admire, and I know that I am able to bring this enthusiasm and passion to my local communities. Last night, Penguin Young Readers Group hosted an amazing dinner with – hold onto your seats for the awesomeness of this group of Rock Star YA authors: Sarah Dessen Laurie Halse Anderson Marie Lu D.J. MacHale I could gush on and on about each of these amazing, inspiring,…

ALA Annual 2013

Relaxing with #alaplay at #ala2013

With a night off last night, I had the pleasure of going to a very cool program called ALAplay. I learned about some new boardgames, such as Catan Junior and The Wood Man. There was also graphic novels, demos, and an explanation of 3D printing. This isn’t my first experience with ALAplay. In 2009, I was an MLIS student at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I came to ALA 2009 as a prospective librarian and found ALAplay. What a great time! As ALA staff, I experience the ALA Annual Conference in a much different way than members do. I love what I do and seeing members enjoy programs at Annual is a real thrill for me, but sometimes it can hard to relax after a long day as I would on a typical Friday playing board games with friends. ALAplay was as relaxing as it gets! Big thanks to the Games…

ALA Annual 2013

A Wild Ride at the ALSC Preconference #ala2013

If you’re feeling a bit numb this morning, it may be because I used up ALL THE FEELINGS at yesterday’s ALSC Preconference, A Wild Ride: 75 Years of the Caldecott Medal. There was so much picture book love, author and illustrator appreciations, insights into the production and editorial process, and simply great conversations with fellow picture book nerds. I could spend pages gushing, but I’ll share just a few of the highlights for me: Brian Selznick killed it in his opening keynote. He started off by donning the dashing and be-dazzled shirt that he wore for his Caldecott acceptance speech. He joked about being often mistaken for Paul O. Zelinsky (a running joke that Paul later carried into his own hilarious closing speech,) and gave a well-researched and thoughtful overview on the history of both Randolph Caldecott and the medal named in his honor. Finally, Brian moved the entire audience…