ALA Virtual Conference 2020

#alavirtual20 is NOT over!

I’m going to be honest – working full-time (from home), with a five year old has not allowed for a typical conference experience. At this point (and conference is “officially” over), I have been able to view three sessions. They were excellent, but THREE! In case you are wondering – you should check out the Opening Session featuring Misty Copeland, Matthew Cordell, and Healing Reading Trauma: Rebuilding a Love of Reading Through Libraries for Liberation – they are all fantastic. This weekend, I look forward to catching up. I am so thankful that sessions have been recorded. Usually, I scroll through Twitter and feel “session envy.” Now, I can go back and attend whatever session I want. And, OF COURSE, I am thrilled for the day long event on Sunday, available at ALA’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/AmLibraryAssociation. Do I wish I were dressing up and attending the banquet live? YES!…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

#alavirtual20 National Associations of Librarians of Color (NALCo)

The National Associations of Librarians of Color (NALCo) presented several dynamic programs during #alavirtual20. NALCo members also co-presented and served as panelists for other programs throughout the duration of the Virtual Event. Programs included but were not limited to: AILA President’s Program: Honouring and Respecting Relationship: Rethinking Library Praxis  Behind the Wires: American Concentration Camps Then and Now (APALA LIVE) E. J. Josey’s 1964 Charge: ‘Keep on Pushing’ (BCALA LIVE) Treasure Hunters at Libraries? Why Not!! (CALA LIVE) Juntos: Latinx Family Engagement at Your Library ALA President, Julius C. Jefferson, Jr , recently released a statement: ALA takes responsibility for past racism, pledges a more equitable association. As libraries work to become more intentional about improving internal and external relationships, reexamine outreach efforts, and reevaluate services provided to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, they can look to the work of NALCo for examples of best practices, positive…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Closing Session with Natalie Portman at #ALAVirtual20

The Closing Session of ALA Virtual Conference 2020 featured Natalie Portman, who has a new picture book coming out called Natalie Portman’s Fables, being interviewed by librarian Betsy Bird. [Betsy made a funny slip when she was listing Natalie’s credentials and called her an “Archivist” when she meant to say “Activist.” Only a librarian! Natalie said that would be cool!] The main idea of the book, which includes three stories, is to rewrite beloved stories with more female characters. She noticed when she had a daughter after having a son that people had given her boy baby “classics” that all seemed to feature male characters. Then they gave her girl baby books with feminist slants — but does a toddler really need to be told she’ll encounter obstacles? She would change the pronouns in the stories she reads to have more female characters — and decided to write a book…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Stories Beyond U.S. Borders at #ALAVirtual20

Today I caught an On-demand virtual program and watched Stories from Beyond U.S. Borders: The Young Reader’s Window to the World. The four panelists were children’s and YA authors who all live in Southeast Asia. The speakers were:Hanna Alkaf, author of The Weight of Our Sky and the upcoming The Girl and the Ghost, who lives in MalaysiaRin Chupeco, author of several book including the recent Wicked As You Wish, who lives in the PhilippinesGail Villanueva, author of My Fate According to the Butterfly and the upcoming A Potful of Magic, who also lives in the PhilippinesRemy Lai, author of Pie in the Sky and the upcoming Fly on the Wall, who was born in Indonesia, grew up in Singapore, and now lives in Australia. Hanna Alkaf was the moderator, and she first asked about identity. She is Malay and Muslim, which puts her in the majority in Malaysia and…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Behind the Wires: American Concentration Camps Then and Now at #ALAVirtual20

Behind the Wires: American Concentration Camps Then and Now was a program offered by APALA, the Asian/Pacific American Library Association. The first speaker was Dr. Satsuki Ina, a survivor of the World War II concentration camps in America. She commented first that correcting descriptive language is important. The dictionary definition of a concentration camp is a place where large numbers of people are detained or confined under armed guard. She told her own story, with pictures of her parents, who were sent to the camps as newlyweds. Her brother was born in one camp, and she was born in a maximum security prison for dissidents. Her father had protested his incarceration, which made him a dissident. Dissidents were targeted for deportation, beaten, and separated from their families. Not until 1946 were they released with $25 and a train ticket. Dr. Ina has made a documentary film and promotes Healing Circles…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Reopening Libraries: Smart Strategies for a Healthy Restart at #ALAVirtual20

Today I attended a session of ALA Virtual Conference about reopening libraries with two speakers. The first speaker, George Coe, is head of Brodart, an important company for library supplies. The second speaker was Dana Hollins, an Industrial Hygienist. (Who knew this field existed? She’s a member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association.) George Coe told about their experiences of shutting down and reopening at Brodart, but to me that didn’t really apply to the issues libraries face. They had to reconsider their workflow procedures to be able to apply social distancing. The most relevant information is that they have added helpful supplies to their inventory such as face masks and wipes. So now these can be ordered through a library supplier. They also made some book lists for libraries that are appropriate for the times. The talk by Dana Hollins, however, was very relevant. I didn’t realize that a…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

Don’t Miss the Exhibits at #alavirtual2020

I have enjoyed and learned from  many of the sessions I’ve attended at the ALA Conference. Some of the sessions which come immediately to mind are: the initial keynote address by Misty Copeland which was such an intimate and thoughtful conversation between the first African American female principal “dancer” in the American Ballet Theatre’s long history and the incoming chair of the the video visit with featured speaker Matthew Cordell as he spoke so lovingly about Mister Rogers, the subject of his newest picture book biography the timely panel discussion titled Are the Kids Okay? How Librarians Can Help Kids Navigate Socioemotional Stress or — as Kelly Jensen, the moderator, so eloquently stated — “All the different ways that a story can impact somebody, particularly when it comes to their mental health.” the session I found so VERY informative titled “Trouble in Paradise: Are You Violating Copyright by Using Social…

ALA Virtual Conference 2020

#alavirtual20 Poster Gallery

The #alavirtual20 Poster Gallery provides an opportunity for the face-to-face poster sessions (that usually take place at ALA Annual) to move online. There are 66 posters on display from 141 contributors representing institutions worldwide. The gallery is “open”for the duration of the conference as opposed to a specific time slot. The posters are categorized by topic and can be browsed by collection, title, or presenter. The collections include:  Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Women and Gender Studies Section Poster Session; Connections Poster Session; Global Solutions Poster Session; Infrastructure Poster Session; Outreach Poster Session; The Collectors Poster Session; and The Educators Poster Session. The topics are robust and include reflections and summaries of programs; social concerns within libraries; critical librarianship practice; library staffing issues; community engagement; student support; use of technology; and much more.  The breadth of topics; representation of different types of libraries and library staff; and presentation…