Sunday, June 17, 2012

ALA Annual 2012: What I'm Attending (And You Should, Too!)

anaheim convention center ala 2008
ALA in Anaheim, 2008. Photo by Timothy Vollmer
With ALA Annual Conference right around the corner, I am SO BUSY right now! As chair of YALSA's Conference Marketing and Local Arrangements Committee, I've been working on conference-related matters all year long, and am so excited that the big event is almost here.

I was interviewed on the latest episode of the YALSA podcast about things to see and do (and eat!) in Orange County, so if you're traveling from out of town to attend, be sure to listen. It's more than just Disneyland! 

Blogging is definitely on the back burner at the moment, but since I posted about conference events I'll (sadly) have to miss, I wanted to pop in to talk about a few of the sessions and events I will be attending at ALA.

If you're looking blankly at all of the amazing events in the ALA Conference Scheduler and wondering where to start, I contributed to this School Library Journal article alongside six other librarians, sharing what we're looking forward to at the conference. But what did I not mention in the article? Here's a selection of what else I'll be attending... 

Friday, June 22, 3 - 4 pm
If you're a new member of YALSA, or are thinking about joining, this is the session for you! According to the official description, it's a "mixer-style orientation, where you can get an overview of the division, its activities and what YALSA has to offer you."

Saturday, June 23, 12:30 - 1 pm
Asian Americans, Air Benders, and Comics
As a fan of the animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, I can't miss this presentation by Gene Luen Yang, who writes the series continuation comics published by Dark Horse. I had the opportunity to speak with Gene via Skype when we interviewed him for the Authors are ROCKSTARS! podcast, and I look forward to saying hi in person. He's awesome, and this topic sounds fascinating.

Saturday June 23, 5 - 7 pm
YALSA Happy Hour
An informal networking opportunity for YALSA members and those interested in joining YALSA. If you're a YA librarian or YA enthusiast, you should be there.

Saturday,  June 23, 8 pm
The Great YA Blogger Meetup
A fabulous way to continue the YA lit networking and festivities into the evening!

Sunday, June 24, 9 - 10 am
YA Author Coffee Klatch
One of the most memorable conference events for YA lit fans-- like speed dating with authors. Plus, breakfast! What a great way to start the day. Attendees get to meet authors up close and personal as they rotate tables and discuss their work. (Ticketed event, $25)
Sunday, June 24, 6 - 11 pm
The Newbery Caldecott Banquet
Like the Oscars for youth literature! This celebratory evening is definitely one of the highlights of the conference. I can't wait to hear the speeches by this year's Newbery medalist, Jack Gantos, and Caldecott medalist, Chris Raschka. (Ticketed event, $94)

Monday, June 24, 2:45 - 3:30 pm
Conversation Starters: Style and Stereotypes: Perceptions of Librarians
There's something to be said for the old adage, "It's what's inside that counts," but I believe the outside counts too. That is, it's important to be conscious of how we present ourselves to the world as librarians, as professionals. This panel session on perceptions of librarian style from the folks at should be a fascinating discussion.

Monday, June 25, 8 - 10 pm
The Michael L. Printz Award Program and Reception
The Printz Award is given to the best book written for teens each year. This year's winner, John Corey Whaley (Where Things Come Back), also won the Morris Award for best debut novel. I'm looking forward to hearing what he has to say! We'll also hear from Printz honor winners Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket!), Maggie Stiefvater, Christine Hinwood, and Craig Silvey. (Ticketed event, $34)

Just under a week until the conference... I hope to see you in Anaheim!


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