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ala wrap-up 1. July 15, 2009

Posted by Katie in shoptalk.

Oh, my goodness. ALA was just such an amazing experience — and exhausting. I’m still recovering from it almost two days later. So, I’m going to take my time writing up what happened. We’ll start with Saturday, as it was my first full day at conference.


Saturday was my 25th birthday and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate than hanging out with other librarians!

I started off the day at the exhibits. The exhibits are truly a magical land full of great library resources (like DEMCO, who sells library furniture and accessories — shelf tags & book ends, etc.), technology resources (like Tutor.com), publishers, authors, and free stuff. A lot of people use the exhibits for just the free stuff. I don’t. I participated in a ton of talking with vendors about different services they could offer my library.

But of course, I’m there for the books and authors, too!

Opening Ribbon Ceremony -- ALA 2009
A picture of the opening ribbon ceremony and the crowds. The exhibits are about ten times as big as what you see. I know, I know. Huge, right?

I grabbed a bunch of ARCs that were out on the table. The first few minutes of the exhibit are like the running of the bulls. Either keep up with the crowd or get out of the way. So I got dragged around to a few booths before I wound up in a line. I asked the librarian in front of me what the line was for and she said Catching Fire. I about near squealed.

We made a quick alliance so that she stayed in line while I looked for more books and vice versa. When I came back from looking though, she said that Scholastic had just announced that they would do the Catching Fire give-away at 9:30 instead of 10:00 which worked much better for me. So, I was the sixth person to get Catching Fire, at exactly 9:30…which is coincidentally my birth time. So, as I turned twenty-five, Scholastic gave me my first birthday present. It was pretty amazing.

After that, I had to head to YALSA All-Committee, where we touched base after who was covering what event. I really have to say that the Local Arrangements Committee has been such a wonderful learning experience and I am thrilled to have been a part of it (my term is officially over, other than filling out an evaluation!).

Next, was the Margaret A. Edwards Award Luncheon. YALSA sponsors the Margaret A. Edwards Award with School Library Journal and it is given to an author for their significant and lasting contribution to YA literature. This year’s recipient was Laurie Halse Anderson.

Laurie was an author that I grew up with. Speak was published when I was fifteen years old, and I read it as a teenager. It was one of those books that stayed with me. I re-read it about two years ago for my Young Adult Literature class, and felt like I was a teenager all over — the book was that powerful.

Being on committee, I was working closely with a lot of other librarians and it wound up coming out that it was my birthday. Additionally, it wound up getting to Laurie that it was my birthday. After her incredibly moving speech, a fabulous lunch, and the actual award presentation, Laurie and I got to take a picture. And then, she led the librarians who were still there in a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday.” This will remain one of the most unreal and fabulous moments of my entire life. I have a slightly blurry picture of the experience. I hope my friend passes on the video and (hopefully) non-blurry photo of me and Laurie later on this week. But until then…

Laurie Halse Anderson and me

I did one more pass at the exhibits before heading home. I had to get to Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville where Laurie would be signing with Sarah Dessen. After some car trouble, a hectic drive home and there, my sister and I waited for a few hours in a very, very hot bookstore before I got my books signed. I have another fabulous photo of the event below.

puppet program 031

And that concludes my first day at ALA. I found up with a fairly large pile of books including:

  • Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
  • NERDS by Michael Buckley
  • Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle
  • Liar by Justine Larbalestier
  • Troy High by Shana Norris
  • Little Black Lies by Tish Cohen
  • Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Rage by Julie Anne Peters
  • Going Bovine by Libba Bray
  • Ruined by Paula Morris
  • Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley
  • Lipstick Apology by Jennifer Jabaley

Not as large as some lists I’ve seen, but all books that I’m interested in. I also have doubles of some of these (sadly, not Catching Fire though), some of which I will be giving away on the blog. Stay tuned for further ALA updates!



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