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ALA 17 – My Favorite ALA Sponsored Events

We are still wrapping our head around SCASL’s recent Chicago Trip to ALA. As we reflected at the airport waiting for our flight home, we began listing the wonderful events directly from the conference that we participated in.  I’ve already shared our Affiliate Assembly events, so I’ll focus this post on sessions and the exhibit hall. The following are events your SCASL friends were involved in as either a speaker or attendee.

Karen Gavigan & Heather Moorefield-Lang both led multiple sessions at this conference, making all of SCASL, the University of South Carolina, and all of South Carolina PROUD. Karen presented two sessions:

  • Transforming Learning in K-12 Libraries through Inclusionary Best Practices
  • Telling Their Stories Through Graphic Novels – Views from behind the Fence

Heather Moorefield-Lang presented twice as well. She is outgoing chair for the AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, soon to be assuming the role of AASL Region Four Director. Her two sessions were as follows:

  • Exploring AASL’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning
    This session was the big reveal of the 2017  AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, and there were MANY tweets and retweets, Facebook postings and more sharing the newly curated list! It always draws a big crowd! It followed the AASL Best Apps 2017 Reveal Session.
  • MakerSpaces: The View from Here
    This session also draws a lot of fans. Many are still clamoring for makerspace information.

 


Sarah Jessica Parker, ALA President’s Program

The ALA President’s Program featured Sarah Jessica Parker who glowed when she spoke of libraries in her life as a child, and how she has made sure it is a part of her own children’s life. No trip is taken without a book!  Many lucked out at ALA, getting an autographed copy of No One is Coming to Save Us after hearing SJP and Author Stephanie Powell Watts talk of the book in this session.


Hillary Clinton, Closing Keynote

ALA did not announce until way late that Hillary Clinton would be our closing keynote, and there were all kinds of rules about filing in, no saving seats, bags had to be checked, etc.  I’m super excited we didn’t miss it. Jennifer Tazerouti and her sister Jackie were some of the first people in, so they had really close seats. (See picture) My group (myself, Heather Thore, and Cindy Symonds) strolled in with less than thirty minutes to go, and found seats near the back. Breakfast was more important to us than a front row seat. It was a great, short speech! Favorite Hillary quote: “You [librarians] have to be on the front lines to defend truth, reason, evidence and fact.” I was hoping to get a arc of her book, It Takes a Village, or minimum a promise of it’s in the mail from ALA!, but sadly that did not happen.

Picture belongs to Jennifer Tazerouti

 

My picture from the far, far back of the room (cropped so it appears I’m closer.)

Watch the full speech here.

 

Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Awards Banquet

Some of my SCASL friends had a remarkable evening enjoying the the 2017 Newberry-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet. I’m too cheap to pay for the ticketed event, but ever since my Min-EE-so-ta friend Sally Mays introduced me to free gallery seating that opens around 8, this has been a must attend event for me. Funny that when I usually get there I get to see and speak to a lot of friends, and this year that included John Schumacher,  recent SCASL Conference Author Jason Reynolds, SCASL Past Presidents Jennifer Tazerouti and Ida Thompson, SCASL member Michael Giller, SLJ’s Rocco Staino, and twitter friend Sarah Kelly Johns. You never know who you will bump into! When I can find it I’ll post link to the recorded speeches.  I did manage to nab a program, artwork by Caldecott Winner Javaka Steptoe!

 

Coretta Scott King Awards Breakfast

Our very own SCASL Past Presidents Jennifer Tazerouti and Ida Thompson attended this event, and the word on the street around ALA was that there wasn’t a dry eye in the room; each and every awardee that spoke choked up the audience.

Jennifer Tazerout’s photo shows SCASL Past Presdient Ida Thompson posing with R. Gregory Christie, 2017 CSK Honor Book illustrator of Congo is Not a Square.

 

Odyssey Awards

I think a lot of folks skip this because it’s listed like a breakout session, and posts that it is 2.5 hours. Thanks to Heather Loy several years ago (ALA in Anaheim) I was introduced to this annual ALA event. The session is actually part session with speakers and part celebratory cocktail reception, sponsored by the Audio Publishers Association. In the middle there is an opportunity for attendees to grab winning audiocopies of the winners and honor books. Hearing the story of how Anna and the Swallow Man came to be produced and packaged; hearing from the author Gavriel Savit, and especially hearing the audiobook narrator Allan Corduner marvel us with a melodic and endearing reading made this such a special session. Attendees were showered with gifts, from the CD sampler of the winners and honor books, to AudioBook sponsored earbuds WITH a keychain zip purse, to your choice of one of the actual audiobooks! Bonus, the audiobook keychain held a coupon for three free audiobooks. SCORE! (Sorry I blurred out the code!)

This shows a collage of Cathy Jo Nelson’s pictures of the free gifts given out at the Odyssey Awards Reception/Session

 

Opening Keynote

Sadly I missed the opening keynote due to a snafu with my room, and I had to return to change my room location before my roommate Heather T. arrived later that evening. Maybe our SCASL President Cindy Symonds will share her takeaways with everyone. At least I had heard the speaker before, and her books and buttons were snapped up at the conference in a hurry!

Exhibit Hall

ALA describes it as follows:

With more than 900 exhibiting organizations, multiple pavilions and stages featuring the hottest authors, and numerous related fun events, the exhibit floor is an integral part of your learning, professional development, and networking. The Exhibit Hall offers you the opportunity to explore and discuss with expert vendors the breadth and depth of new and favorite library products, services, books, online services, tools, and technologies.

I can honestly see why some come only for the exhibit hall! I met so many people standing in line for books, and fell in love with several of the vendors (4Imprint I will be a customer very soon!!) It was amazing and I still don’t think I saw everything despite visiting many times over the four days it was open! I loved all five stages and the energy and enthusiasm felt in every line a stood in. So many things to see, so many authors to sign books, and so much to wish I could afford!


I did stumble across this youtube that recaps #ALAAC17 really well!

Final Thoughts

I’ve been to ALA four times in recent years, and never have I paid for any extra events. I’ll be attending next year, and I hope to purchase the Coretta Scott King Breakfast Ticket next year. I have to go see for myself since many tell me every year how good it is. I am also once again going to make sure my flights are made so that I do not miss the closing keynotes. Each time it seems ALA one ups themselves with their opening and closing keynotes. Since I can, I will make sure I am there for both.  In the next few days, I’ll share my #ALAAC17 extra curricular activities!

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