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Monday, July 6, 2015

ALA High Points

Tree of inspiration
This year, I was extremely fortunate to be able to attend the American Library Association Annual Conference in San Francisco.  It was the first time in 10 years I'd been to this extravaganza of librarianship.  Apart from a few brief cases of paralysis due to a severe case of FMS (Fear of Missing Something), I found a lot to love at this conference.  Some highlights:

  • Seeing and hearing authors I deeply admire (Jandy Nelson, Tim Federle, Edwidge Danticat, Chris Meyers, and Kwame Alexander to name a few) and having all of them express appreciation for librarians and the work we do.
  • Learning more about the Libraries Transforming Communities project, and getting great ideas about community engagement and making some useful connections with people working on a regional level like I do 
  • Learning about what some libraries are doing to serve people experiencing homelessness, and getting some ideas that are transferable to the smaller cities and libraries in our region
  • Hearing ideas about sharing 5 Early Literacy Practices (Talk, Sing, Read, Write, Play) with teen parents
  • Just being around 25,000 librarians and others who are doing interesting things, talking about important topics, and eagerly connecting with each other was humbling and gratifying
Who knows when I will get to go again, but attending a conference of this scale, while overwhelming, is also eye-opening and stimulating!  Next up--the Wisconsin Library Association Annual Conference, which is less huge and less expensive, but still tremendous for getting inspiration!  Check it out, November 3-6.


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