ALA Annual 2018

The Inclusive Makerspace #WeNeedDiverseMakerspaces #alaac18

It’s been another jam-packed, amazing day at the 2018 ALA Conference! This afternoon I attended The Inclusive Makerspace #WeNeedDiverseBooks session led by Gina Seymour, a School Library Media Specialist. She offered some great advice on making your Makerspace or hands on learning activities accessible for a wide variety of youth, including those with disabilities or language barriers. Gina provided many simple tips with big impact, like providing triangular anti-roll crayons, instruction sheets with a visual cue for each step, and printing instructions in both English and Spanish. Other suggestions included labeling all craft materials used in making with not only a word but an image of what is inside. She emphasized how making can promote the 3 E’s: Equity, Education and Excitement. This session made me think of how my library could reassess our own maker-based activities and  programming so that everyone can be successful and feel welcome. Thinking of…


2018 Pura Belpre Award Celebracion

One of best sessions at each ALA Annual Conference #alaac18 is this Celebracion! Each author and illustrator gave insite into their work then we were treated to a performance by the folk group Vive Mi Terra from New Orleans.  Their  name — “Feel My Country” — is so apropos as we celebrate these latino titles and honor all children by celebrating mulicultural experiences. #alscleftbehind    

ALA Annual 2018

Michelle Obama: who we deserve and need at #alaac18

While many of our national leaders are choosing to be divisive, Michelle Obama is showing us what it means to be inspiring, compassionate, and a champion for children.  During her conversation with Carla Hayden at the Opening General Session she spoke about the importance of fostering connections and helping children realize their full potential, especially those who may be experiencing challenges. She talked about a White House mentoring program for kids that helped build confidence and a sense of ownership. Her statement that resonated with me the most was about how we as adults have the opportunity to positively impact a child’s life every time we engage them. “This one interaction could be the one that changes this child’s life.” I find this to be so true. My mentor Thom Barthelmess always says, “Each visit to the library is a formative experience.” As librarians and professionals working with young people…

Live Blogging

Greetings from ALA Annual 2018

Greetings! I am on a break from Bridging the Tech Gap session at #alaac18. This is my first ALA conference, and I am already geeking out over everything. Loving this session about how to incorporate youth in planning events and using technology in the library. Youth start as users, then testers, then informants, and, eventually design partners. Ask open-ended questions! Be a “guide on the side” rather than a “sage on the stage.” Getting great ideas and meeting/working with wonderful librarians from all over the country!

ALA Midwinter 2017

#alamw17 Scholastic Literary Event

This morning’s Scholastic Literary Event spotlighted some fantastic middle grade fiction. Four authors were there to present readings from their newest books: Gordon Korman, whose newest book, Restart, looks at a bully who’s lost his memory and is finding he’s a very different person – if everyone around him will let him be. Natasha Tarpley, whose novel, Harlem Charade, blends mystery and art, with a protagonist who’s living on the streets and trying to find out what happened to his grandfather, who was attacked. Madelyn Rosenberg and Wendy Wan-Long Shang, whose novel, This is Just a Test, takes an often hilarious look at a Chinese-American Jewish boy in the early 1980s, who’s worried about nuclear war and his two warring grandmothers. Each author gave a brief talk, introduced his or her book, and, in a fun departure from the usual author readings, engaged the other authors in creating a little…

ALA Midwinter 2017

Picture Books at #alamw17

Saturday morning with picture books at #alamw17. I spotted and grabbed my first two ARCs of the day at a breakfast hosted by HarperCollins. I scored a copy of the new picture book by  Dan Yaccarino- Morris Mole.  I also got a middle grade ARC by Rita Williams-Garcia, Clayton Byrd Goes Undercover! Take a look (and try not to drool!) at the endpapers of Dan Yaccarino’s picture book: To wet you whistle, check out the back of Rita Williams-Garcia new book: Up next, second breakfast with Scholastic authors & illustrators talking about what we all love- picture books! Peter H. Reynolds, Kate Messner, Carmen Agra Deedy, in conversation with Julie Danielson. Here are some highlights from the conversation: Libraries are dreaming academies. . . You [librarians] are the keepers of important ideas. – Peter H. Reynolds @scholastic breakfast at #alamw17 Picture books are an entry in to discussions for all ages….