ALA Annual 2024

The Post-ALA Annual Conference TBR Pile

Meeting authors and illustrators is an exciting part of attending #alaac24. I feel very lucky to have been able to attend the conference this year. While I didn’t have time to meet everyone I wanted to, I was able to pick up several advance reading copies to take home. Here’s what I’m most excited to read. If you picked up any great ARCs at #alaac24 or elsewhere, I’d love to know what’s on your list! Conference Blogger Celeste Rhoads (she/her/hers) is originally from John Steinbeck’s hometown of Salinas, California, where she read on the beach, in trees, on road trips, and everywhere in between. She moved to Paris in 2005, and immediately found a home at the American Library in Paris. As the Children’s and Teens’ Services Manager, she oversees the Library’s collections, policies, and programs for ages 0–18. Celeste has a master’s degree in Library Science from Rutgers University, where she…

ALA Annual 2024

Making Connections, Keeping in Touch – After #alaac24

Meeting new contacts and potential friends is one of the main highlights of attending a professional conference such as #alaac24. But how do you keep in touch once we’ve headed home to our respective cities? It’s one thing to follow a blog or Instagram account of a librarian you admire, but the personal connections are truly meaningful. I’m located on another continent, so I’ve had a lot of practice keeping in touch over long distances, and I’m grateful for the tools we have at our disposal to remain in contact with professional networks and individuals who live and work far away, but it still takes time to maintain connections. I have a few tips for things you can do now and in the coming weeks and months to nurture those new connections:  Send an email today. If you traded business cards with someone fun/kind/interesting/funny/inspiring then send a note now so…

ALA Annual 2024

A Day in San Diego during the #alaac24

Embarking on a delightful journey from Little Italy to Coronado Beach Exploring San Diego during the #alaac24 was a charming experience. As I said in a past post, I always take advantage of conference time to tour the city where it is happening. It’s the moment I take to do some “adult’s stuff,” like long walks in parks, visiting museums and libraries, and places of my own interest while being with myself. Last Saturday, my day started with breakfast at Pappalecco in Little Italy, a charming café known for its delicious pastries, rich coffee, and inviting atmosphere. I enjoyed a delicious croissant and a cappuccino, savoring the vibrant ambiance of the neighborhood. After breakfast, I took a Lyft to Balboa Park. This sprawling urban cultural park in the heart of San Diego is renowned for its beautiful gardens, historic architecture, and numerous museums and cultural institutions. I wandered through the…

ALA Annual 2024

Get Up and Dance!

There are so many new and exciting ideas for programming and services circulating here at #alaac24, but I’m also grateful for the reminders about important elements we should all be building into our existing programs. How do we engage a young audience, hold their attention, and make the most of the limited time we have together to make each program into a valuable learning opportunity? One panel titled SING, TALK, READ: Engaging the Brain, Body, and Senses through Nonfiction Picture Books included great suggestions for ways to incorporate music, movement, and nonfiction texts into storytimes.  Ask questions—and give children space to respond. Through thoughtfully curated programs, we, as librarians, can encourage open conversations about identity, celebrate the diversity of our communities, and spark conversations. An important reminder for all of us who host storytimes is to engage our young audiences with critical thinking questions before and after readings. We can…

ALA Annual 2024

“What Fear Will Steal from You”: Final Thoughts on #alaac24

Sitting on my suitcase as I triumphantly zip it up, I appreciate what an apt metaphor this is for my first #alaac24. My mind is as full of ideas and my heart as full of hope as my suitcase is of books. Ideas for how to expand students’ access to texts. Hope that the books in my suitcase will make it to and remain on the shelf in my Florida district.  The 2022–23 school year saw a 33% increase in book bans from the previous year, with Florida making up 40% of the bans and having more book bans than any other state. As scary as it is, I remind myself of Taraji P. Henson’s words on the main stage at #alaac24: “What fear will steal from you if you give it power.” I will not give fear the power to steal my hope. What do you do to maintain…

ALA Annual 2024

The End of #ALAAC24

It is Tuesday July 2nd and ALA is coming to a close. To say it has been an adventure is an understatement. If you have never attended a national conference, I highly recommend it. There is so much to see, learn, and do. If you asked me to determine what part was my favorite, I don’t know if I could choose. This year it was the opening with Trevor Noah, walking the exhibit hall floor, connecting with old friends and making new ones. Every year conference does one main thing for me as an attendee. It invigorates me. I get excited all over again to be involved in such a great organization that works so hard for something I believe in. My conference this year is ending with the ALA President Inaugural Luncheon. This is a first time event for me. I am looking forward to meeting and networking with…

ALA Annual 2024

Manga Goes to School @ #ALAAC24

The last session of the day, on the last day of the conference no less, Manga Goes to School, was heavily attended. Could it be the draw of the topic or the expertise of the presenters? Actually, it was both. Manga is all the buzz among young people across the country. It is read quickly and has a loyal following. If you are a school librarian like me, or a youth services librarian, this is a topic you need to keep on top of.