ALA Annual 2014

And Now for Something Completely Different…

I’m back home now and reflecting on my #alaac14 conference experience. It was amazing – full of inspiring ideas, friends (old and new), and thrilling moments (I can’t be the only one who got a little teary at the Newbery-Caldecott Banquet). Las Vegas was definitely a unique, if difficult city to navigate. But I won’t soon forget the over the top glitz and glitter. In fact, even the restrooms were luxurious! I thought it would be a fun adventure to take pictures of these sumptuously lavish (but oh-so-necessary) rooms as I traversed the city. Here are a few of my favorites:

ALA Annual 2014

The 3 C’s for Evaluating Early Literacy Apps

Yesterday I attended ECRR 2.0 Apps for Early Literacy session at #alaac14. A panel of 6 individuals passionate about early literacy discussed current research for best practices, as well as demonstrating a few of their favorite apps. Panelist Chip D. from TED Erickson encouraged us to think about the 3 C’s: Content – Is the content of the app developmentally appropriate? High quality? Intentional in its support of ECRR 2? Context – Is the app appropriate for the context? Will it be used one on one? In storytime? In another setting? Child – It is appropriate for the individual child? Each child is unique and their personality, interests, and preferences should be taken into account.  

ALA Annual 2014

Reenergize Your Teen Advisory Group #alaac14

It’s tough thinking of things to do every month with your TAG. I know that’s why I ended my TAG 2 years ago. But I’ve been inspired to give it a second go after visiting the Harry Potter Alliance booth in the exhibit hall. The HP Alliance provides community service opportunities for teens through  book donations (Accio Books), voting campaigns, civil rights, hunger, and much more. You can start a chapter at your school or library and if your teens are not into Harry Potter, your group can campaign under the Hunger Games or other groups. For more info on The Harry Potter Alliance, visit www.thehpalliance.org

ALA Annual 2014

The Jeff Kinney of the 80’s #alaac14

While ALA has MANY popular youth & teen authors signing at booths and listening to your fangirl stories, popular authors of the 80’s also make appearances. Ann M. Martin, Babysitters Club, and Judy Blume were among those popular authors. As I walk around the exhibit hall with my Wimpy Kid fan that says, “Millions of kids are readers because of this book,” I remember the days when this was said about Judy Blume. If you hadn’t read Are You There God, It’s Me  Margaret, you would get crazy looks from your friends. Kids would read this book so that they wouldn’t get left out of the conversation at lunch-even boys. One of my ALA goals was to meet Judy because I was that kid who read EVERYTHING by her (including Forever when I was in the 6th grade). I was that kid who had to be strongly encouraged to try…

ALA Annual 2014

Banned Books at #alaac14

Sage Videos and ALA’s Office for Intellectual Freedom sponsored a reading of banned books on Saturday and Sunday during the ALA Conference. Attendees were invited to read a short passage from their favorite banned book and then make a brief statement about why the book was important to them. The readings were videotaped and will be featured on the Banned Books Week YouTube Channel during Banned Books Week, September 21-27.  

ALA Annual 2014

What’s on your library’s secret menu? #alaac14

One fun aspect of attending conferences is getting to experience what the host cities have to offer. I made a trip with some colleagues to In-N-Out burger for lunch–it’s a restaurant that none of our home states has. It also pretty famously has a secret menu. Which got me thinking: what’s on your library’s regular menu of services, and what’s on your library’s secret menu? Or, more specifically, what service do you offer that your customers don’t know about? I know that the availability of readers’ advisory comes as a surprise to many customers, even though it seems par for the course for anyone trained in reference services. And I’m sure there are lots of other “regular” services we offer that would come as a surprise to even our most frequent customers. How do we ensure that the public are aware of everything we offer?

ALA Annual 2014

Programming on the Autism Spectrum #alaac2014

Serving children on the autism spectrum can be an intimidating endeavor, particularly if you have little to no experience working with these families.  However, as the session I attended yesterday afternoon discussed, libraries are absolutely not alone in this.  “Creating Collaborations:  Successful Partnerships that Serve Children with Autism” included presentations by four librarians who highlighted several different kinds of partnerships available to the vast majority of public libraries.  From working with special education teachers to occupational therapists and museums to hospitals, there are programs and organizations all over dedicated to serving children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Why is this so important?  According to the Center for Disease Control, the number of children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder is on the rise.  The new statistic is 1 in 68 children.  That’s a lot of kids. Jen Taggart, Bloomfield Township Public Library in Michigan, discussed the special collections her library curates for…