Greetings from Chicago! This is the second time I’ve visited the Windy City for one of the American Library Association’s conferences and I’m really excited because this is the first time I’ve attended as a bonafide librarian. Huzzah! I’m also on two committees this year: the 2017-2018 Rainbow Book List Committee and the 2017-2019 Notable Children’s Digital Media Committee. And, if that weren’t enough to keep me busy, I’ve also volunteered to document my conference experience over at the ALSC Blog. Be sure to pop on over there if you’re feeling #alaleftbehind.
It will be hard to top my last experience at ALA Annual. Picture it: San Francisco, June 2015. The historic 5-4 Obergefell v. Hodges ruling that guarantees the right of same-sex marriage has just been announced. I’m smack dab in the midst of two of my favorite things: queer people (celebrating Pride, no less) and librarians. One moment I’m marching in a parade, the next moment I’m sitting next to Brian Selznick at the Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet. Pure. Magic.
I look forward to seeing what’s in store for me this year! Here’s a sneak peak of my schedule, to give you a taste of what I’ll be up to—though I should add that, like all the best plans, everything is subject to change!
Friday, June 23
Storytime Saves the World
10:30 AM-3:30 PM
Storytime Underground‘s first ever Guerilla Preconference! Its focus will be on librarianship as social justice work, diversifying collections/programs/staff, and radical inclusivity.
Saturday, June 24
Leadership and ALSC
8:30 AM-11:30 AM
ALSC leaders will discuss the new strategic plan, diversity and leadership trends, and social justice work.
A panel featuring Erica Perl, Betsy Bird, Cece Bell, Rita Williams-Garcia, and Andrea Beaty. Moderated by Sharyn November.
4:30 PM-5:30 PM
An introduction to ALSC and networking opportunity for first-time attendees.
Sunday, June 25
Presenters will debunk the myth of library neutrality and position libraries instead as social justice spaces.
A panel featuring librarians and social workers that will provide practical examples of partnerships between the two.
2017 Newbery-Caldecott-Wilder Banquet
6 PM-11 PM
The Big Banquet in which the winners of the Newbery, Caldecott, and Wilder Medals give their speeches.
Monday, June 26
Stonewall Book Awards Program
10 AM-12 PM
A celebration of the winners and honor authors of the Stonewall Book Awards.
A panel that will present the latest research on child development and digital-age technology, as well as offer strategies for librarians as media mentors.
Librarians Go to Juvie
A presentation about how the Kalamazoo Public Library has partnered with the Kalamazoo County Juvenile Home to bring author book visits, book discussion groups, and a bedtime reading program.