Thursday, May 31, 2012

ALA Annual 2012: What I'll Miss (But YOU Shouldn't!)

anaheim convention center ala 2008
ALA in Anaheim, 2008. Photo by Timothy Vollmer
I am really excited about the ALA Annual Conference coming up next month in Anaheim, from June 21 - 26. I've only been to ALA Annual once-- last time it was in Anaheim, in 2008. I was pregnant with my first child at the time, so it was a rather cumbersome endeavor! 

Will I be seeing you at this year's conference? If you haven't registered yet, check the Registration Rates page: ALA Division members can register for the full conference for $230 by June 14.
Plus, there are some reasonable options for those who aren't necessarily interested in the entire conference, but would like to take part in the excitement. For $75, you can attend the Opening General Session, the Auditorium Speaker Series, and have access to the exhibit floor (yes, that means the publishers' booths!). If you purchase the $35 Exhibits Plus pass, you'll get to visit the exhibits as well as the Opening General Session, and the $25 Exhibits Only pass is exactly what it sounds like: access to the exhibit floor. Any of the pricing options are well worth it, depending on your interests.

There's going to be so much to do at this conference-- attend informative sessions, meet amazing authors, chat with the people behind my favorite publishers, network with fellow librarians, do committee work... I'm going to have a full schedule! As much as I would love to attend everything, there are a few programs and events I just won't be able to catch.

If you're going to ALA in Anaheim this June and can attend these sessions, please tell me about them so I can live vicariously. Here are a few programs I'll miss... but YOU shouldn't!

Friday, June 22, 3 - 4 pm 
Emerging Leaders Poster Sessions and Reception
The ALA Emerging Leaders program is "a leadership development program which enables newer library workers from across the country to participate in problem-solving work groups, network with peers, gain an inside look into ALA structure, and have an opportunity to serve the profession in a leadership capacity." During this event, this motivated and dynamic group of people will share the projects they've been working on for the past six months. I think attendees will come away inspired.

Saturday, June 23, 8 - 9 am
Auditorium Speaker: John Irving
I was lucky enough to see John Irving speak once when I was in college, and he was brilliant and so charismatic. I definitely recommend attending his talk if it fits into your schedule.

Saturday, June 23, 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Auditorium Speaker: Chris Colfer
Take note, Glee fans! The actor who plays Kurt has written a fantasy book for middle grade readers, The Land of Stories, which will be released on July 17 from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. Chris Colfer is my favorite actor on Glee, and I wouldn't miss his talk unless I absolutely had to.

Saturday, June 23, 8 - 10 pm
Proquest Scholarship Bash, featuring the Rock Bottom Remainders
"By day, they’re authors. Really famous authors. But once a year they shed their pen- and-pencil clutching personas and become rock stars, complete with roadies, groupies and a wicked cool tour bus.” A musical performance from Stephen King, Amy Tan, Mitch Albom, Dave Barry, Matt Groening, and Ridley Pearson, among others? Talk about EPIC. (Ticketed event, $25)

Sunday, June 24, 1:30 - 3:30 pm
Balancing Babies and Books
As the mother of a 3.5 and 1.5 year old, this event interests me a great deal. I'd love to chat with other librarians who are currently parenting young children and exchange perspectives on balancing career and family. Parents need to connect with other parents!

Monday, June 25, 5:30 - 7 pm
Ever since the concept of Battledecks was explained to me (thanks, P.C. Sweeney!), I've wanted to see it in action. Librarians competing in improvised Powerpoint presentations based on slides they've never seen before? Awesome.

There you have it-- just a few of the sessions I wish I could attend. Be sure to comb through the ALA Conference Scheduler for the full run-down of events so you can see what else is going on. I'll be back soon with another post about some of the sessions and events I will be attending... hope to see you there!


  1. I'm finally making it to ALA this year for the first time! As an exhibits only participant, so no fun sessions for me. Still, I am hoping to meet some people and enjoy what time I have.

  2. Cool way to do this post! Things you'll miss. I'm getting so excited for Annual. I hope we cross paths many times!

  3. Thanks for this! I'm not a librarian, but I'm a local writer, and I'm looking forward to the chance to peek in on the fun.

  4. I think I may just prowl the exhibits floor and meet the authors! I've been looking at the schedule and trying to plan my visit!


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