Well, it’s been a little over a week since I returned from the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in beautiful Anaheim, CA. With the temperatures here in Charlotte in the low to mid 90′s and the humidity off the charts, the nice breezy CA weather was a wonderful change. Once again I had a great time at the Conference. I met great people, learned a lot, and of course, picked up lots of swag.
Here are a few of my highlights:
- Attended the panel discussion “YA Literature, Graphic Novels, and Books on Popular Culture: How Do They Attract Reluctant Readers?” Authors Kazu Kibuishi, Barry Lyga, and Holly Black were very informative and highly entertaining while expounding on the value of comics, graphic novels, and popular culture for drawing in reluctant (and not-so-reluctant) YA readers. I also went away with a long list of books I want to read now myself.
- Attended the session “Hey I Want to Do That, Too!: Gaming and the Elementary Age Child.” I was particularly interested in this session because I’m co-leading a team in our library system dealing with technology for children. Well-informed presenter Warren Buckleitner spoke about his Mediatech center and the best products for kids on the market right now. I received a wealth of information from this session that I can’t wait to put into practice here at PLCMC. More information about this session is on the ALSC Wiki here.
- Met up with former Charlotte resident and award-winning author Tracie Vaughn Zimmer at the Candlewick booth. She was signing copies of her new book, The Floating Circus. I’m looking forward to reading it very soon.
- Listened to Dr. T. Berry Brazelton speak at the ALSC President’s Program. He’s done so much valuable work studying the development of babies through his institute and the Touchpoints Center. I think many parents have him to thank for making it through their children’s early years with their sanity still intact. Can you believe he’s ninety years old now? One really cool thing about the program was hearing from several of his former patients, all grown up now. Also, the nice folks at Perseus Books were giving out free, autographed copies of Touchpoints afterward at their booth as Dr. Brazelton greeted all his adoring fans.
- Caught a random performance by Lisa Loeb at the Baker & Taylor booth. Loeb was there promoting her upcoming children’s album Camp Lisa. She played a couple of tracks from that album, but also treated the crowd with a performance of her big hit “Stay.” The Camp Lisa songs were fun and catchy, and I’m looking forward to hearing the rest of the album.
- Snagged one of the conference’s most-coveted giveaways – a Twilight bag from Little, Brown, and Company. I can’t wait to see which lucky teen ends up winning the bag at our Twilight party this fall.
- Met the talented Lois Ehlert who was signing Waiting for Wings posters at the Demco booth. She was so nice, wanting to talk to everyone in line. Coincidentally, I had just done a butterfly program the week before and read Waiting for Wings to the group, and they loved it.
- Laughed out loud as Mo Willems accepted his Geisel Award for There Is a Bird on Your Head by giving an “Easy Reader” speech while wearing a bird on his head that he borrowed from the award committee. Brilliant!
As I hope you can tell, I had another great conference, and I’m still bubbling with ideas for new things to try at my library and information to share with my coworkers and staff here. I’m looking forward to Midwinter in Denver, if we don’t get snowed out!