ALA Annual 2017

This Never Gets Old #alaac17

Chicago Skyline

So, I crunched the numbers last week and calculated that #alaac17 (in my beautiful hometown of Chicago) is my 26th ALA Annual Conference, the very first being in Dallas in June 1989. Seventeen of those conferences have been with ALSC. And, seriously, this conference stuff never gets old! While much of the actual work at ALA Annual is similar from year to year, following a model that is tweaked and fine-tuned with each completed event, each individual conference provides its own unique moments. Here are just a few that made #alaac17 very special: Shaking Congressman John Lewis’s hand directly following his powerful acceptance remarks for the Sibert Medal (for “March: Book 3”). Witnessing the friendship, camaraderie, and love shared among ALSC committee members, the products of long months spent discussing, deliberating, working, and celebrating accomplishments  together. (See some amazing details and photos below!) Seeing, hugging, laughing with, and/or catching up with (whatever…

ALA Annual 2017

Pura Belprè Celebraciòn: Celebrating 21 Years of Latino Children’s Literature #alaac17

pura belpre awards program

On Sunday afternoon, we celebrated Pura Belprè’s 21st Anniversary. The Pura Belprè ceremony celebrates award-winning Latino writers and illustrators. Although I am Latina, I sometimes feel a bit distant from my Mexican and Puerto Rican roots because my family rarely shares stories and are fluent in English. Most times, my knowledge of my culture only revolves around the food.  SO. MUCH. CULTURE. The Pura Belpre Celebracion immersed me in the latino culture. I felt so grateful to be a part of this experience for the first time! I loved hearing the winners speeches and learning about their families and origins. Juana Medina, 2017 Pura Belprè Award recipient for Narrative, said, “We need to offer more to the Latino community when it comes to narrative,” and I really couldn’t agree more. First and foremost, I need to do my part in seeking out authors and other artists of the Latino community, but I…

ALA Annual 2017

ALSC Mentor Program #alaac17

As a new youth librarian, I was very excited by the opportunity to participate in the ALSC Mentoring Program. This is a free program open to anyone (you don’t have to be an ALSC or ALA member to participate as a mentee). I wrapped up my program by meeting my mentor in person at ALA Annual! As a mentee, I talked with my awesome mentor, Megan Egbert, once a month about our libraries and the various challenges we were facing. We set goals for our program, including: Reviewing what each ALSC committee does and submitting a volunteer application. (This resulted in me getting appointed to the Notable Children’s Recordings committee.) Sharing useful resources in a Google document and discussing our favorites each month. Interviewing a different youth librarian each month. This led to some awesome conversations with Mel Depper, Carissa Christner, Amy Koester, Claudia Haines, and more amazing youth library leaders. It…

ALA Annual 2017

Exhibit Hall #alaac17

As an ALA first timer, the exhibit hall might have been the highlight of my conference experience. I ignored all advice, and I took almost all the ARCs I could get my hands on, resulting in a collection of about 50 books. Some of my favorites include: All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart Swing It Sunny by Jennifer Holm There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins Warcross by Marie Lu I did follow some advice, and I packed an empty duffel inside my suitcase. That helped tremendously with getting everything home. I have some excited coworkers and patrons who will love these books! In addition to ARCs, the exhibit hall contained The Playground @ ALA, an amazing area where attendees could play with some of the latest technology. I experienced virtual reality with a real head set and…

ALA Annual 2017

#alaac17 – Media Mentorship in our libraries

If you’ve read Mary Voors’ excellent piece on the 2017 ALSC Charlemae Rollins President’s Program, you’ll know that there was a lot of information packed into an hour and a half. This topic could easily have been a whole day of conversation and learning but we were given a great snippet to get our brains thinking about media mentorship in our libraries.

ALA Annual 2017

Exploring Chicago #alaac17

After my best attempts to make it to winding down sessions and an emptying exhibit hall– my friends and I decided to use our evening to see some Chicago sights! We made our way to the Up Comedy Club to see a Second City improv show! I love improv and the idea of seeing a show at the place where Tina Fey got her start was super exciting! Then we made our way to Pequods for some deep dish pizza! And this evening out reminded me why ALA is so invaluable to me–it’s a chance to reconnect with my grad school friends in a way that life wouldn’t allow me to do! As much as I love them, my vacation time is usually spent on family or leisure time– and since we all live across the nation from each other- this is our time to catch up! As we sat…