Thursday, July 3, 2008

ALA Conference

I got back Tuesday afternoon from five days at the ALA (American Library Association) Conference in Anaheim. What a wonderful experience – full of great sessions, terrific exhibits, tons of free books and ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies) for me and my library that I can't wait to read, a chance to visit with old friends and meet new ones, and an unforgettable experience performing with the “California Girls” in the Book Cart Drill Team Competition event. There's an overwhelming amount of material to cover, but I will try to at least touch on some of it here. Highlights of the conference for me included:
  • The Advocacy Institute on Friday, June 27. Hearing and meeting the “Spokane Moms” who have done such a terrific job of advocacy for libraries in Washington State was a real treat and so inspiring. We have just got to figure out how to clone their program in California! And, they are very ready and willing to help us do just that. We just need to find our “moms” (or dad?). It was also terrific having three CSLA people on the program --- Sandra Yoon, CSLA President, Connie Williams, CSLA President Elect, and Sandy Schuckett, one of CSLA's most illustrious advocates/activists. Please visit this wiki page for my summary of some of the great things I learned there. And, if you were there, or you have ideas, please do feel free to edit the wiki page and add what I missed, etc. I am happy to report that my school board did not cut any teacher librarians for 200-2009, but I know we still have our work cut out for us to avoid cuts next year. We need to convince all the players how, as Sara Kelly Johns stated at the institute, "“If you want students to have 21st century skills, you need 21st century libraries with librarians.” Here are just a couple of the photos I took at the Institute:
"Spokane Moms" Lisa Layera Brunkan, Denette Hill, & Susan Burney with CSLA President Sandra Yoon and President Elect Connie Williams

Sandy Schuckett, Retired LAUSD Teacher Librarian & CSLA Advocacy Guru
  • Participating with the “California Girls” in the Book Cart Drill Team Competition on Sunday. Ten of us had a ball organizing our team representing CSLA, Southern Section. We did it to publicize CSLA for other conference goers, to have fun, and to highlight the fact that, while the reading we promote and the information literacy skills we teach in our school libraries are crucial for 21st century learners, we also make reading and learning library skills fun for our students. In case you're wondering whether we won, the answer is no, but that was never really the plan. Since we drew a group from a big geographic area, we were only able to have two practices before we arrived in Anaheim, and our goal was just to try to be in sync and have fun. We were just all so glad that we got through the routine without a disaster :) and that the crowd enjoyed it! Many thanks to Demco for sponsoring this, and congrats to the winners. It was great that the only other school library group, the Bibliotechies from St. Margaret's Episcopal School, won third place! I'll post a video of event and a slide show of photos as soon as I can, but here are a few photos for now, courtesy of Joy Millam:
Here's the team forming a big star.
Here's part of the team doing a small star.

That's me, swinging my bikini top at the end
Book Cart Drill Team members posing after the event with other CSLA members
  • Attending Gale's event at the Grove of Anaheim with The High Strung Band. My Gale rep, Mason Golden, was nice enough to invite the entire California Girls team to attend this event Sunday evening after the book cart drill team competition. Eight of us were able to attend. We loved the band and had a wonderful time!
Some of our group dancing at the Grove.
Some of our group (Yvonne and Pam's husband Bill) on stage with the band.
  • Attending the the Odyssey Awards and Printz Awards. It was a real treat to hear great audiobook narrators and producers at the Odyssey Awards Sunday night and speeches by great authors at the Printz Awards on Monday night. Next time (if there is one), I have to get to the Newbery/Caldecott Awards banquet, which I hear was also wonderful.
  • Attending Greenwood's Pop Culture Night at the Lucky Strike Lanes on Saturday. Here's a photo of Roza and me with “Joan Rivers.” Many thanks to Greenwood and to my rep, Scott Bloom, for the invitation. Here's me with "Joan Rivers" and Roza:

  • Speaker California Teacher of the Year for 2007 Alan Sitomer's presentation about how to reach reluctant readers. He had some great ideas I plan to use next year in my library.
  • Visiting all the exhibits and getting tons (actually EIGHT bags!) of wonderful ARCs (advanced readers copies) and published books. Many, many thanks to all the exhibitors who were incredibly generous. I thought the most creative booth designs were Demco's and The Wizards of Coast (who also gave out some wonderful free books and ARCs). Here's a photo of Roza, Nancy, and me at the Demco booth:
  • And here I am with Christopher Paul Curtis, one of my favorite children's/YA authors:

Stay tuned for more photos and a video of the book cart drill team soon!


School Library Learning 2.0 Team said...

Wonderful coverage of the conference and the Advocacy Institute! Thanks for making this info so accessible!
Best wishes.
- Jackie

Jani Nelson said...

Both this blog and your wiki are incredible. Your information is clear and succinct. I love the photos and can't wait to see the video. Looks like not only did you learn a great deal but you had fun as well-- the ultimate goals in education!! - Jani

bookslinger said...

Loved the pictures Jane. Looks like it was a wonderful time!


Wobbly Librarian said...

Oh, you are a wonderful wordsmith! And the pictures fit in so well. Thanks for sharing!

max said...


I grew up as a reluctant reader. Now I write action-adventures & mysteries, especially for boys 8 and up, that kids hate to put down. My web site is at and my Books for Boys blog is at
Ranked by Accelerated Reader

Max Elliot Anderson

Read about my message to kids in a bottle: