Saturday, June 26, 2010

ALA so far - bugs, dogs, teens, and tech

(I wanted to add a photo of the highlight of my D.C. visit so far, which was holding a gorgeous giant grasshopper in one hand and a Madagascar hissing cockroach in the other at the National Museum of Natural History - but it didn't turn out. So here is a friendly moment with Jamie, a gal who works for the FBI and sniffs out bombs for a living.)

Once, at one of those publisher cocktail parties during which folks are thrown some beverages, some h'or doeuvres, and are expected simply to mingle, I didn't see anyone I recognized, and so I sat down at a table with three women who were chatting amiably. Mustering my courage, I smiled and introduced myself.

The trio stopped talking, blinked at me in surprise and - I swear it - distaste, nodded at me, reluctantly introduced themselves - and then continued talking amongst themselves. They were all YA librarians - and I swear, they made me feel like I had sat down at the wrong lunch table. I was a dorky children's librarian who was gauche enough to sit down with the Cool People, and they froze me out.

I know lots of YA librarians, and they are almost uniformly warm people and enthusiastic librarians who love what they do, so obvious those three Mean Girls were anomalies.

Still, as a very new YALSA member (I've been an ALSC member for lo, these many 20 years or so), I signed up for my first YALSA preconference with lots of excitement and a wee bit of trepidation. Silly me! Presenters and attendees alike were helpful, friendly, professional, and even as Super Nice as any children's librarian.

Although some of them were cooler than I'm used to. In particular, there were many instances of Fabulous Eyewear (I was quite taken with the cat's-eye frames worn by one woman at my table - perhaps that should be my new look).

So - the preconference was Promoting Teen Reading with Web 2.0 Tools, which is an idea near and dear to my heart. I've been wishing for a while that I still worked in branches and could use Animoto, YouTube, Glogster, Scratch, Storybook,,, and other free tools with kids and teens (see my slide show w/ examples of some of these) - but now I'm in a position to actually encourage my whole library system (or drag them kicking and screaming) to use these tools.

I'll report on the preconference in depth in an upcoming post, but some of the slide shows and hand-outs can be seen here in the meantime.

And stay tuned for reports on programs ranging from community involvement to summer reading club as well, plus Disney Hyperion's diverting afternoon of mini peanut butter/chocolate eclairs and the Super Chicken Nugget Boy song!


  1. Oh Eva. Little do these three women know that they could actually learn a lot from you. How rude of them!!! I am sure that there are many others who will benefit from having met and spoke to you. Hang in there!! I am sure you will meet nice people. Don't be discouraged and keeping smiling. Have a great time and be your usual charming self.

  2. I wish I had taken a picture of the REAL glasses - they were excellent!
    Thank you for those sweet words, anonymous! I've met ONLY nice people at this ALA, and lots of them. What a fun conference!