Here at #alamw12 a hum and buzz can be felt below the din of the exhibit hall and the busy clatter of hotel lobbies. No, it’s not the distance thunder of galloping longhorn steers, but rather the combined energy and passion of all the award committees making their choices behind closed doors. Who needs coffee with all this electricity in the air? Can’t wait for Monday morning! I met with my fellow 2013 Newbery Committee members yesterday afternoon. We’re an eclectic bunch of folks with a variety of backgrounds and literary tastes, but we are united in our enthusiasm and (to judge from our fun meeting) sense of humor. This is going to be an amazing year!
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Notables is awesome. If you have the opportunity to sit in the audience and listen to the open discussion, you must do it! I’ve learned more about art, design, plot structure, critique, and artful ways to agree to disagree from attending Notables than from almost any other professional experience. I was only able to stay for an hour, but in that time I heard the committee members discuss over a dozen titles, including The Secret Box by Barbara Lehman, I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen, and The Conductor Laetitia Devernay. Some choice quotes from the discussion can be found here.
The ALA JobList Placement Center is a great place to visit if you are in the market for a new-to-you job. While there you can have your resume reviewed, get some career counseling, review some job hunting books, get interview tips, meet with recruiters and more! Some of the services you can get even if you can’t make it to a conference. ALA JobList is a great resource for job search information and job postings. You can get your resume reviewed via email if you are an NMRT member (join up, it is only $10). Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Who doesn’t love a little music to go with their free stuff? Last night at the exhibition floor opening, there was a three-piece Texas band playing for the crowd. I didn’t catch all of it, but it was a mighty inspiring way to get ready to make a made dash for free pens. All in all, Dallas had impressed with their hospitality. The employees at the convention center have been top-notch and the food is mouth-watering. For the ALSC staff, we’ve really enjoyed how close things are. In some cities, every event is a mile walk. Not Dallas.
There’s so much to do, including Exhibits which offer irresistible options for readers. After I returned from the 5K Fun Run/Walk, and yes it really was fun, I spent some time at Exhibits. My red ALA bag keeps getting full of stuff (not sure how I’ll ship home), so listening to a panel of excellent mystery writers at the daily PopTop stage seemed a good way to avoid picking up more stuff. Moderated by droll Bill Crider, writers Cara Black, Laura Elvebak, Denise Hamilton, and Martin Limon discussed the appeal of their series’ characters and some of the background and inspiration for their books. Of course, I left wanting to read all of their books (and I’ll start with the three Martin Limon signed after the panel). Oh well, guess my next stop will be the post office, …
We were up before the sun this morning for a breakfast and book preview with our friends at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. After filling our plates, we settled in to hear editors from Little, Brown tell us all about the books they’ll be publishing in 2012. I love hearing from publishers about their Highlights for me include The Storm Makers by Jennifer E. Smith (compared to Ingrid Law’s Savvy), 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad (this Norwegian import was described as super creepy), Perfect Escape by Jennifer Brown (loved her book Hate List), Starry River of the Sky by Grace Lin (a companion book to Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, coming this fall), Ask the Passengers by A.S. King (coming this fall), and The Diviners by Libba Bray (“The Great Gatsby meets Stephen King”, first in a series). And that’s not all! Special guest Peter…
I just attended a session presented by Susan Cain, the author of the soon-to-be-published Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. Fascinating! Basing her presentation on research, she talked about how our culture often undervalues & misunderstands introverts in our increasingly social world, but that our world needs both elements on this personality spectrum. We all know extroverts and their bold contributions in our workplaces and our world. We need to remember people like Darwin, Dr. Seuss, and Steve Wozniak who exhibited creative and inspiring behaviors as introverts. The bottom line? Introverts and extroverts need each other and our world needs both types of people. I can’t wait to read Ms. Cain’s book!
Why does everything start so dang early at #alamw12? The Fun Run 5K in Reverchon Park was no exception, but it turned out to be a fine way to start the day. And I placed 3rd female, 10th overall – yeah, baby! For all results, check here. Then it was on to a PLA Community of Practice discussion on Every Child Ready to Read 2, where those of us who have implemented the program shared thoughts and ideas with those who are beginning or considering the program. If you are interested in joining the ECRR2 discussion, come to the ALSC Preschool Services Discussion Group Meeting on Sunday at 4:30 in the Hyatt, Shawnee Trail #362. And now on to the Convention Center and some ARC wrangling!