ALA Midwinter 2014: Christie’s Highlights
Midwinter is called the “Business” conference because this is where most of the meetings happen for the awards and booklists for the year. The Youth Media Awards are Monday starting at 9, and anyone in youth and teen services are haunting the area or Twitter or media feeds to hear what’s been nominated and what’s won this year- and to see if their predictions were correct (and gloat whether you have it in your collection, right)?
However, there are still tons of things to do even if you aren’t on a committee, so take a look through the Midwinter Scheduler:
Exhibits: If you’re feeling brave, definitely try to attend Friday’s opening night exhibit gala and get your start at collection galleys for the new year! Publishers lately have been rotating stock on a daily basis, so what’s available on Friday will be different from Saturday and different from Sunday. Also be sure to hit up any book buzz or theater exhibits from publishers that you’re interested in- a lot of time the publishers hand out the more popular/buzzed about galleys there.
Meet-Ups/ Socials: If you want to network or meet other people that have similar interests, take a look for meet-ups or socials within round tables, associations, or unofficial meet-ups. There are blogger meet-ups, first time member orientations, and off-site socials every night.
Author Event Sessions: Yes, there are authors! Authors in the exhibits (check their websites and social media as well as their publishers for the most immediate updates), and authors speaking! Amy Ignatow is speaking at the Pop-Up Stage, Tom Angleberger is speaking, a whole panel of debut authors is being held, Donna Jo Napoli is speaking, David Lubar (whom I may stalk), Rainbow Rowell, and more!!!
Open Committees: If you want to take a look at what some of the committees actually do, search for some of the open committees. While you can’t crash award committees like the Newbery or the Stonewall Awards, committees like the Rainbow Project and the Amelia Bloomer Project are open to all observers, and are a great way to get involved and get experience.
Networking Uncommons: Some really great things happen at the Networking Uncommons, like the Guerrilla Storytime. If you don’t see something that interests you, make up your own, register it, and see what happens.
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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