Thursday Blurb: American Library Association Annual Conference, Here I Come

I love New York – it is one of my favorite cities … and I love BookExpo America, but spending the weekend in my old home town with people who have my dream job? That R-O-C-K-S!

This 5-day party is already starting, but I won’t get there until tomorrow morning. I must admit, I’m a little nervous. After all, these are librarians and they really know books. My roomie is a children’s librarian, which will be fun, but also a little intimidating.

My five BEA experiences will come in handy, but unlike BEA which is in one place, there are Conference events all over town. The other thing I’ve noticed is how much more engaged the vendors are in communicating with attendees. For BEA, I see little to no correspondence, and certainly no invitations. Since my initial registration, I have had a steady stream of emails, tons of postcards (many with giveaway offers), and some invitations, too.  The hard part is keeping my schedule “reasonable,” and I could use your help.

Friday afternoon I’ll attend ALSC 101, a seminar sponsored by the Association of Library Services for Children (ALSC). This is for those of us who are new ALSC members (check) or those of us attending our first ALA conference as a children’s librarian (sigh!).

Then it’s off to Kidlit Drinks Night in DC – the ALA Edition. The Mid-Atlantic region of the SCBWI is sponsoring the event, being held at R.F.D. Washington (Regional Food and Drink). I get to reconnect with folks I met at last year’s KidLitCon in DC, and hopefully meet some folks of the DC-Kidlit Book Club (which I belong to but lament never being able to attend).

Saturday afternoon, it’s over to the Dupont Circle area to an event with Katherine Paterson, the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature at an event planned in her honor. I’m planning a quiet Saturday night, as Sunday morning it’s rise-and-shine with an early breakfast sponsored by a publisher; a panel on Children’s and YB Book Blogs  with Pam (MotherReader), Elizabeth Burns (Tea Cozy) and Travis Jonkers (100 Scope Notes); a day on the exhibit floor; and (drumroll) attending the Newbery/Caldecott Awards Banquet. (squee!) Thank you, thank you, thank you Susan Kusel (double squee!)

Since this is my first ALA, I thought I’d spend the majority of my time at the main exhibit hall (DC Convention Center)  getting a sense of everything. I purposely didn’t spend a lot of time wandering at BookExpo, so I am looking forward to hearing about many of the titles others already mentioned in their BEA wrap-up posts.

I am totally floored by the number of authors signing books. Even leaving off some of my all-time faves, there are still too many people to meet. Here’s where you can help … I started putting this list together, and it is just too much. I need your help picking “A” or “B” when there is a schedule conflict. Clearly, I need to be cloned from 2 o’clock until 3 o’clock on Saturday!

Friday, 25 June

5:30 to 7:p

  • Tameka Brown Around Our Way On Neighbor’s Day
  • Nancy Rains Day, On a Windy Night
  • Fred Bowen Fred Bowen Sports Story Series

Saturday 26 June

10:am to 11:am

  • Erica Perl Dotty
  • Matt Phelan The Storm in the Barn
  • Tad Hills How Rocket Learned to Read
  • Candace Ransom Hello, Virginia!

11:am to 12:n

  • Jen Bryant A River of Words: The Story of William Carlos Williams
  • Laurie Halse Anderson Chains

1:p to 2:p

  • Moira Rose Donohue Penny and the Punctuation Bee ~ I met Moira @ KidlitCon and hope to say hi
  • Rosemary Wells ARC of On the Blue Comet (1:30-2:30)
  • Yuyi Morales Just in Case (1:30-2:30)

2:p to 3:p

    • Amy Bates, Bear in the Air
    • Daniel Kirk Library Mouse: A World to Explore
    • Amy Malaspina Finding Lincoln
    • Kate Messner The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z
    • Laura Amy Schlitz The Night Fairy (2:30-3:30)
    • Bill Galvan The Scrapyard Detectives (til 4:pm)
    • Laurie Halse Anderson Wintergirls(plan b if 11a doesn’t work out)
    • Jerry Pinkney Three Little Kittens
    • K. Michael Crawford Trouble in Troublesome Creek
    • Kekla Magoon The Rock and the River
    • Cheryl Rainfield Scars ~ I just hope to meet Cheryl in person


3:p to 4:p

  • Joe Hayes Dance Nana, Dance / Baila Nana Baila (til 5:p)
  • Brad Sneed The Boy Who Was Raised by Librarians

4:p to 5:p

  • Laura Numeroff, Otis

Sunday, 27 June

9:a to 10:a – I am bummed because this hour may not work. I have a breakfast and Pam’s panel

  • Grace Lin Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

10:a to 11:a

  • Tanya Lee Stone Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream (10:30 to 11:30)
  • Toni Buzzeo Adventure Annie Goes to Kindergarten (til 1o:30) – Toni was the first author to send books to the Reading Tub! and I’ve never met her!!
  • Candace Fleming The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman PT Barnum

11:a to 12:n

  • Jerry Pinkney The Lion (Plan B if Saturday doesn’t work)

1:p to 2:p

  • Mitali Perkins Bamboo People (’til 3:p)
  • Erin Sexton The Boy and the Freckles (’til 3:p)

2:p to 3:p

  • Andrew Smith The Marbury Lens
  • Mary Amato Edgar Allan’s Official Crime Investigation Notebook
  • Pamela Zagarenski Red Sings from Treetops
  • Brian Pinkney Sit in: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down

3:p to 4:p

  • Lane Smith It’s a Book

4 responses to “Thursday Blurb: American Library Association Annual Conference, Here I Come

  1. Okay, I've got the Grace Lin 9-10 on Sunday solved if you're around on Monday when she is signing The Seven Chinese Sisters from 10-11at Albert Whitman & Company 2616. We'll also see her at the Newbery/Caldecott banquet.

    The Saturday 2-3 situation is a tough one. I'm hoping to get there by then, and I'm going for Amy Malaspina, Kate Messner, Laura Amy Schlitz, and Kekla Magoon. If that helps.

    I'm going to Tammy's tea too, so maybe we can coordinate. I'm still figuring out my Sat.

    1. That would be great Pam. It all so exciting to me. I LOVE the Seven Chinese Sisters … and Grace, too, of course. But I’m heading back to Cville Monday morning. Would it be too tacky/fan-girlish to take a couple books of DC-Kidlit authors with me?! It’s like getting a yearbook signed at the prom.

  2. TD and MotherReader – I hope you can both stop by – I'm signing Saturday at 1 at Albert Whitman, but also Sunday at 2 at Follett Library. And hopefully I see you on the floor at some point!!!!

  3. How amazing was this ALA???!!! Thanks for stopping by, Terry. And I hope you got to see Christopher Paul Curtis on Saturday – I nearly swooned!!! I am now totally inspired to write, write, write.

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