ALA Midwinter 2012

YMA Anticipation

In a few minutes I’ll be heading over with friends and coworkers to the Youth Media Awards. The energy in the air is already palpable. People are smiling more, wringing their hands a bit, chatting with strangers about their own faves and which titles they’re rooting for. It’s better than the Globes, better than the Oscars. These are the YMAs, baby! So, what are your picks this year? Add them in the comments below or tweet them with the hashtag #alayma. And for those of you playing along from home, don’t  forget to check out the live webcast.

ALA Midwinter 2012

Just Plain Exhausted #alamw12

Books, walking, meetings, parties, walking, exhibits, books, vendors, walking, meetings, etc. and so forth for days. There is so much good stuff to be found here; it is unbelievable, amazing and absolutely exhausting. I am happy to report that I am snug and warm in my hotel room with my galley of The List by Siobhan Vivian (thanks again, Scholastic!). And it is good, so very good. I’ve been super busy today, but I’ve managed to sneak in a few pages on the many shuttle rides between hotels & the convention center. The basics: Every year in September at Mount Washington High School a list is published naming the prettiest and the ugliest girl in each grade. The List follows each girl for  a week. This book is so well done. I can’t wait to get back into the world of these characters. Their world is heartbreaking and uplifting and…

ALA Midwinter 2012

Business, Book Haziness, and Brainstorming

What’s the difference between ALA Annual and Midwinter #alamw12? In general, I think of Annual as being all about celebration and inspiration.  There are publisher and vendor parties galore, the Awards Banquet, and plenty of juicy programs and sessions from which to glean ideas to take back home. Midwinter, on the other hand, is all about business and books.  This is when the committees, boards, and councils meet – and of course we’re all walking around in a Book Haze, drunk on the thought of the awards about to be announced and on the prospect of those luscious 2012 titles to be published over the coming year.  Oh, the Youth Media Awards!  Oh, the publisher previews (with snacks)! But despite the lack of programs at Midwinter, I’ve found plenty of inspiration this weekend as well.  For me, it was the weekend of Every Child Ready to Read 2, and more…

ALA Midwinter 2011

Heartbreaking, But Necessary #alamw12

I just had to pack into mailing boxes my signed copy of John Green’s new book The Fault In Our Stars (Dutton), along with all of those books the publishers gifted me with.  (THANK YOU ALA Midwinter Venders!) ALA wisely invites the U.S. Post Office to bring their services to a corner of the convention floor so that we can use their boxes and tape to secure our free stuff for the ride home.  I came here with 38 pounds of suitcase and I can’t afford the airline’s overweight charge, so it’s a relief to have an alternative mode of transportation for all of those lovely books. However, I really wanted to start reading Stars, so it’s a little heart-breaking too.  Oh well, I hear that it’s not a book to be read around strangers in an airplane unless you don’t  mind crying around strangers in an airplane. Becky White…

ALA Midwinter 2012

Scholastic Author Round-Up #alamw12

Yee-haw! Saddle up and check out these new books from Scholastic. Last night I had the pleasure to attend the Scholastic Author Round-Up at the Omni Hotel.  Emcee John Mason, Director of School & Library Marketing, got us in the mood for entertainment with his lighthearted jokes and head-to-toe cowboy gear (including guns – no worries, they were plastic). Authors performed reader’s theater and I don’t have the words to tell you how fantastic they were, but I will tell you that if you ever, and I mean EVER have a chance to see/hear David Levithan in read aloud, do it!! I do wish he would narrate his own audio books. What a delight that would be! While Mr. Levithan was the star of my show, everyone (honestly, this is not a lie, every single one) who got up on that stage was incredible. So the reading was great, but…

ALA Midwinter 2012

John Green Did Not Forget To Be AWESOME #alamw12

I heard him speak this morning. This man makes me T-H-I-N-K.  His talk in the Convention Center Theater was sponsored by Penguin Young Readers.  John is on a book tour for his latest YA novel, The Fault In Our Stars (Dutton) — he’s traveling with his brother Hank in a distinctively decorated van. Watch for it!  There’s an Xbox inside but no beds. So the first thing he did, being an honest guy, was admit to being sleep-deprived — something I’m guessing a lot of the audience was too.   But it was nothing but high energy from that point on.  John talked a little about the book. He’s been trying to write it for years but it took the birth of his son Henry and a friendship with a very ill young girl to bring it all together. Then he talked about social networking — which he says you…

ALA Midwinter 2012

Networking at #alamw12

At Midwinter, my days have been filled with committee meetings, exhibits and programs… typical conference stuff. While all of those have been great I have also had some great interactions networking with people from all over the Country. Midwinter is a great place to meet others and share ideas. Today, while riding in the elevator I learned some awesome ideas for improving a teen space. While waiting for a table at lunch I discussed Educator loan policies with a Librarian from California. Walking to the exhibits, I met someone who shared my love a early literacy centers, we swapped ideas and even brainstormed new ones. Getting together with so many amazing library professionals is exciting and invigorating.