ALA Midwinter 2019

ALA Council at #alamw19

ALA Council meets three times during each conference– on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday mornings. The sessions are open unless noted and there is no better way to really get to know what ALA does and how it operates. It can seem like everyone is speaking a different language, but there is a fine art to the procedures… one that is learned over time. But you do need to immerse yourself in it to figure the moving parts out. If you work for a large and or complicated library system– you will have an easier time! The reason it can be so nitpicky– is that the implications of words and policies are ripples outward that we may not see– so we have to be especially careful the how and why of how we choose words, something council is sure to debate! This is my 2nd year in Council, and I love…

ALA Midwinter 2019

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! #alamw19 #alayma19

Just got back from the YMAs, and it was just as wonderful/exciting/thrilling/heartwarming as I had hoped. It is such a thrill to see these talented authors, illustrators, narrators, and librarians honored for the work that they do. The atmosphere in the room was amazing, exploding with excitement and passion. As each winner and honoree was announced, I heard shouts, clapping, exclamations of “Yes!,” “Perfect!,” “I’m so glad!.” What an overwhelmingly positive atmosphere. When I attend the YMAs, I’m reminded again of how much I love being part of the good work that we do as librarians. Congratulations to all on a job well done!

ALA Midwinter 2019

It’s the Most Exciting Day of the Year! #alamw19 #alayma

It’s the YMAs! There is a giant room full of librarians and other professionals who have all had very little sleep. We’ve all ventured out before the sun has even thought about coming up and the feeling in this room is electric! For those of you who’ve never been, it’s not like award shows on TV. No one comes up to accept an award or give a thank you speech. It’s really just award announcements and a way to acknowledge the committees who have worked so hard all year to select these honor and award books. It’s a day of excitement for librarians because we have been reading and recommending these books all year. It’s so thrilling when a book you’ve loved and tried to promote to patrons is on one of these lists. If you’re left behind you can follow the webcast or a livestream on the I Love…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Countdown to the #alayma at #alamw19

The Youth Media Awards will be announced in less than an hour! We all will learn who has won the Coretta Scott King Awards, the (John) Newbery Award, the Caldecott Medal, and more. Who’s excited? I know I am!! If you want to know what people around North America selected in their Mock Elections leading up to these major announcements, check out https://www.alsc.ala.org/blog/2019-mock-election-results/.

ALA Midwinter 2019

Story Time Deep Dive at #alamw19

I have been lucky to connect with the amazing Mel (of Mel’s Desk) at past conferences, and she has been gracious to host some story time deep dives, at the Networking Uncommons, where attendees can come and chat about story time and youth services and brainstorm answers! If you are unfamiliar with Networking Uncommons it is a free space like a makeshift empty meeting room with tables and chairs to have informal meetups or just hang and chat. There are some art supplies and button makers if you feel the need to do some crafting! See my awesome coloring page from the Office of Intellectual Freedom that I started during this meetup! This year, the spot is super hard to find– across the street from the convention center and away from all the action of midwinter. But, we were joined by one other children’s librarian, and for 2 hours we…

ALA Midwinter 2019

Yes, We’re Ready to Code! #alamw19 #ReadytoCode

I’ve gone through many obsessions in my life (knitting, gardening, Pokémon-ing), but currently, I’m all about coding. Coding for littles, middles, and bigs—all of it is fantastically interesting to me. Happily, this year’s Midwinter Conference has had a lot to offer. Today, I attended a really great program led by Claudia Haines of the Homer (AK) Public Library, Paula Langsam of the D.C. Public Library, Juan Rubio of the Seattle Public Library, and Marijke Visser, from the ALA Office of Public Policy who also serves as the Ready to Code Lead. The first part of this session was devoted to a discussion about some important issues that we as librarians grapple with when introducing computational thinking into our programs. It was really cool to listen to these librarians and teachers and get some insight into how they think about the work that we do. Here are some of the questions…