Friday, January 15, 2016

A.K.A. Jane's first ALA Conference

Time to write the blog! That's what I want...time to write the blog!
A.K.A. Jane's first time attending ALA

Perhaps I could borrow this giant squid from the Boston Convention Center - eight arms just might get the job of "catching up"done.   Or not.  

Last week, this children's specialist clip-clopped to Boston for the 2016 ALA Midwinter Conference.  #Amazing  And now I find myself overwhelmed with ideas and barely a second to play with them.  Oh the plight of the children's librarian...story time, ref desk, circ desk...but I just want to play with ideas and send out clever tweets to all my newly minted friends.  Oh, and have champagne and cake each day at 3pm.  Calgon...take me back to ALA!  There were nice warm shuttles that brought one to and from the conference each day  A girl could get used to chauffeur service!  Possibly a library benefit at the 20 year mark? Whaddyathink? (Oh, just say yes!)

Early in the planning, we decided that the little black lab, Piper, would stay home and that Mr Horse would come to Boston.  It's the clip-clop thing!  We picked up friends along the way because... "the more we get together the happier we'll be"  And we took pictures because... we volunteered to snap a few for LibrarianWardrobe.  

Opening night of the exhibits and I was feeling a bit like Dorothy..."oh Mr Horse, we're not in Kansas Connecticut anymore."  Look!  It sparkled and twinkled the whole time!  True story!

We stayed at the best hotel.  Mr Horse was a bit of a ham, but there is not much I can do about that.  I've learned to "let go" of the reins.  My front desk friend, Brendin, corralled Mr Horse on Sunday night.  I think Mr Horse was out and about while I was swimming.  (hotel pool!) Whew!

We stayed at the Westin Copley Place where the inimitable Matt checked us in, took great care to make sure we were comfortable and even posed for photos.  I know he was trying to rock the #librarianwardrobe.  But alas, Matt - even with my many ribbons and your professional desk service skills you are.. most wonderfully...#hotelwardrobe.  What can I say?  Come work in my library!!

This is #librarianwardrobe (and she's from England aka... our mother country!)

BTW here's something brilliant!  My hotel had a Starbucks where, obviously, everyone knew my name!  This was quite lovely because I had my venti NF Chai every morning and evening and that kept me from going totally bonkers!  Well done!  And again, I must say...brilliant!

Each day was something new @alamw :  Guerrilla storytime, Curiosity Creates, Book Buzz(es), Champagne and cake at 3pm, (dare I repeat myself on the champagne!), Morris Award Winners Tea, We Need Diverse Books, Meg, Nikki, Heather, Jennifer, Mika, Ann Marie, Martha, Melissa, Katie, Mary, Lionel, Hayley, MrShu, Susan, Cathy, front row seats for YMA, front row seat for Chelsea Clinton, generous publishers, vendors, candy, texting, tweeting, communicating,  meeting virtual friends IRL, interacting, inspiring, energizing, learning, laughing, growing, transforming! Yes! It was spectacular.  And then...there was Fable Vision which has earned it's very own blog post.  Stay tuned for @FableVision  

Before I close this, let me say Youth Media Awards ...they were simply THE BEST.  Making a check on my bucket list.  I was thrilled to be there.  Honored to have a front row seat.  Yes Meg...we did step out of our comfort zone and owned the front row!  Well, maybe just two seats. See those two seats in front of Meg?  Our seats! Score!!

Congratulations to all the winning authors, illustrators, books, audio books and film.  The room was alive with joy and cheering.  Twenty-eight years in Children's Services, my first ALA conference and Youth Media Awards - I was on top of the world.  

I'm really not worried about catching up. I'll get there.  I do not need the giant squid's eight arms.  I'm in the clouds. Soaring! Enjoying every minute of those 4 days.  Happiest Librarian in town. True story!

My thanks to the members of the Library's Foundation, Nicola Smee and to all those for playing along on my adventure:


  1. Hi Jane,
    You don't know me, but I just have to say--you make me want to be a children's librarian! I found your blog through Flannel Friday, and you are one of the main reasons I started my own blog. Thanks for your enthusiasm--and amazing use of stiff black felt :)
    Wendy (from

  2. Dear Wendy, thank you for your kind note. Working children's services is the best. The world of children's literature and literacy is full of amazing, kind, creative people. Glad you started a blog. I'll come visit it :) ~ jane

  3. Just found your blog through the Cybils website, and had to say I FEEL YOU! about catching up and that I agree that the youth media awards were awesome this year! I didn't attend in person but I watched some of the livestream and woo! It was just super exciting. Keep on being an awesome librarian -- maybe one day I'll join the ranks.


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