Tag Archives: kidlitosphere

Where I’ll Be at ALA Annual 2011

Will you be in New Orleans this weekend? I will! I’m looking forward to attending; this is the first Annual I will attend that is not in D.C. I’ve never been to NOLA and have always wanted to go. I know that the end of June is not the best time to be there when you are a cold weather-loving gal like myself, but I’m still excited!

Last year, I had a very firm schedule due to my Local Arrangements commitments, but this year my schedule is much more fluid. Here is what I know I plan to attend:


12:30 – 4:30 – YALSA pre-con Give Them What They Want

5:30 – Exhibits open!


10:00 – 12:00 – YALSA Strategic Planning session

6:00 – YALSA’s Happy Hour

8:00 – The YA Blogger Meet Up


9:00 – 10:00 am – YA Author Coffee Klatch

10:30 am – The Beekman Boys at the What’s Cooking Stage – I loooove the Beekman Boys and will have a few long-overdue posts about them post-Annual.


10:30 am – I’m presenting! Reading & Wrestling: Think Outside the Box to Reach Today’s Teens – author Paul Volponi and wrestler Sgt Slaughter (last minute change) the Mouth of the South will also be speaking! Wish me luck!

8:00 pm – Printz!

Please say hi if you see me!



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ALA Annual Washington D.C. 2010 Recap

ALA Annual was a blast this year!  It has taken me a bit to get my recap together as I am working summer school right now, but here it is.  (Better late than never – behind the cut!)

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Will you be at ALA Annual 2010?

I am so excited for ALA Annual this year!  I was talking to a friend about it yesterday and freely admitted that my library dork side takes over for conferences.  While I have yet to experience a meaningful local conference, I always come away from the national ones feeling inspired and rejuvenated, and having learned something – actually, many somethings!

If you haven’t planned on attending but are local to the D.C. area, you might want to reconsider.  Registration is still open.  Even if you just spring for the $25 exhibit hall pass, you can get a lot out of the exhibits: freebies, author readings and signings, cooking demos, networking…check out all the options related to graphic novels alone!  A not-so-secret secret is that some vendors give out free passes for the exhibit hall.  If you are local and are interested, leave me a comment before Thursday morning and I’ll forward you some of the emails I have received.

If you cannot attend, you can always consider the ALA Virtual Conference.

If you will be attending, please say hi!  I am seriously shy in person and am often sitting alone, keeping myself busy by reading or checking my phone, so feel free to come up to me.  Here is a picture of me from last weekend so you might recognize me:

I do have long hair, but due to the D.C. hotness, I will probably have it back or up a lot anyways.

As the chair of the YALSA Local Arrangements committee, I am required to attend a lot of the YALSA events.  You are guaranteed to find me at the following:


7 – 9 pm: Spectrum Scholars Professional Options Fair


9 am – 5 pm (will leave early): YALSA pre-con It’s Perfectly Normal

4 – 5 pm: YALSA 101

5 – 7 pm (at some point): YALSA happy hour

7 – 9 pm: Kidlit happy hour


8 – 10 am: YALSA Leadership Development

10:30 am – 12 pm: YALSA All Committee

12 – 1:30 pm: Margaret A. Edwards Luncheon

4 – 5:30 pm: Lights! Camera! Booktrailers!


9 – 10 am: YA Author Coffee Klatch

10:30 am – 12 pm: 2010 Alex Awards


10:30 am – 12 pm: Yes We Can

12 – 2 pm: YALSA Membership Meeting

8 – 10 pm: Michael L. Printz Program and Reception

I have many other things I hope to attend, but those are the things I am committed to attend.

I hope to meet people and reconnect with friendly faces!  Please say hi if you see me!


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ALA Midwinter – Boston

I attended ALA Midwinter in Boston last weekend and had a great time.  It was a short trip due to everything going on at home, but I was able to squeeze in a fair amount.

Friday, I attended an hour long session – YALSA 201 – about becoming involved.  It was interesting to hear the variety of things available.  I dropped in at the YALSA Happy Hour but didn’t stay long as I knew no one and couldn’t bring myself to let go of my shyness and approach groups of strangers.  So I visited the exhibit hall and was able to score a few ARCS, including the two I was really hoping for: This World We Live In and The Dead-Tossed Waves.  After the exhibit hall, I attended at one of YALSA’s ticketed events: Games, Gadgets, and Gurus.  I was able to check out some card and board games that would be great for my school library and meet some awesome people.

Saturday, I attended a YALSA leadership development for committee chairs.  It was a very positive experience and I came away with ideas for my committee, motivation for myself, and the feeling that YALSA cares about the members and their involvement and wants to make leadership within the organization a positive experience.

After that was YALSA’s all-committee meeting where I met with my fantastic local arrangements committee for Annual and we brainstormed.

I returned to the exhibit hall where I was able to pick up many more books and peruse possible library purchases.

I dropped in at the Kidlit Tweet-Up in the lobby bar of my hotel.  It was great to meet fellow bloggers and others in the Kidlit/library world.  It was particularly exciting to meet a couple people who read my name tag and said, “I read your blog!”  Sometimes I forget that there are readers out there!

That evening I went to dinner at the Union Oyster House with Susan from Wizards Wireless and PBS Booklights.  Susan and I met in grad school and it’s always great to catch up with her.  Dinner was soooo good!

Sunday I attended a Web 2.0 session, which was informative, and gave me an opportunity to meet other YALSA people.  I checked out of my hotel, grabbed some lunch, and attended the teen feedback session on this year’s BBYA list.  It was great to get teen opinions and I was able to post my thoughts on Twitter throughout the session thanks to the free wi-fi in the convention center.

I flew home that evening.  This was my first trip using Jet Blue and I was very happy with my experience.  On the way to Boston, I paid an extra $10 for a seat with additional leg room, which was worth it.  On the way home, I was able to use the TV to watch the red carpet arrivals at the Golden Globes.  (My favorite moment was George Clooney pointedly referring to himself and Billy Bush as idiots before making his escape from Billy.)  The plane landed (early!) just as Ricky Gervais was starting the actual show, so I had to rely on my DVR to catch up.  I will definitely use Jet Blue again!

It was a great weekend and so inspiring to me as a librarian.  I have attended non-ALA-related conferences (which shall remain nameless) where I come away with nothing after spending my day listening to people use the day as a bitch-session or receiving basic training on working the AASL standards into library-oriented lessons (said conferences are NOT related to AASL).  I imagine those types of things are helpful to some, but two of my grad school professors were on the team that wrote Information Power so every school library class I took was centered on that book, making it easy to adapt to the new standards.  Do other school library programs not teach the AASL standards?

I also enjoy the ALA conferences because I seem to come across more people who became librarians because they wanted to be a librarian, whereas at these other conferences I tend to meet people who became school librarians because they wanted to get out of teaching but still have summers off.

I love being a part of YALSA and hope I can continue working on committees in the future.  The members are creative, energetic, and passionate about their careers.  School librarians seem to be in the minority, so I encourage other middle and high school librarians who love working with teens to get involved!

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Coming Together, Giving Back – Kidlit Con 09


Because I am still pondering some of the Kidlit Con panels, I am going to report on the day backwards. Coming Together, Giving Back: Building Community, Literacy, and the Reading message was the final panel on Saturday, October 17th.  The four leading the discussion were Jen from Jen Robinson’s Book Page, Gina from PBS Booklights, Ernestine from Reading is Fundamental, and Terry from The Reading Tub.  The main idea behind this was how can we, as book bloggers, can come together and reach outside of our community.  It’s all well and good to talk to each other, but when we spend so much time building our knowledge, we need to think of ways to get outside of our community.  Literacy is such an important issue to all of us, so collaboration can allow us to accomplish much more than we can as individuals.  Examples of projects that have worked so far are the Cybils, Guys Lit Wire, Reader Girlz, and Share a Story – Shape a Future.

One idea is to collaborate with other bloggers.  There are lots of book bloggers who don’t focus on kid lit, maybe you can guest post there and invite them to guest post on your blog.  And then there are all the bloggers who focus on other things.  My friend Jen at The Next Kid Thing suggested, when I mentioned this, that I could guest at her site, and I’d love to have her guest here.

Laurel Snyder proposed an idea where people all over the country gather together on the same day, in malls, to read together with children.  There are 25 millions kids in the US who still don’t have access to books outside of school.  That is a huge number, and the idea of bringing focus to the importance of sharing books with kids is awesome, especially the idea of having it in a mall where it might reach those who are less aware of the situation.  I really hope Laurel runs with the idea and that we all do what we can to support this!

Posts will come later on the rest of the conference!

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Thursday Tidbits

I’m hoping to get back on a regular review posting schedule soon (I can’t believe it’s been over a month since I posted one) but I thought that for today, I’d throw out a couple of random tidbits in case you haven’t seen them

  • If you are familiar with Mo Willem’s pigeon books, you will find this fake poster hysterical!
  • Glee fans! Glee will be on the cover of the next issue of Entertainment Weekly! Very exciting! I can’t wait for it to show up in my mailbox!

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Kidlitcon ’09 – FTC and Bloggers

Yesterday was the Kidlitosphere Conference of 2009, here in DC.  It was a long day, but I’m so glad I got to attend.  I came away with a lot to think about, and will be writing about different things in the coming week.  One of the highlights was a representative from the FTC who came to discuss the new guidelines for bloggers.  I’m going to tackle that first.

Pam, of Mother Reader, planned the excellent conference, and she invited Mary Engle, Associate Director for Advertising Practices at the FTC, to come speak to us.  Ms. Engle explained that there is a difference between an independent product reviewer and someone who is linked to a company to help market.  An example of this would be someone who is paid per post or Tweet, and receives compensation for their marketing.  While the FTC uses the word “compensation,” they define it differently than the IRS does (so just because the FTC considers something compensation doesn’t mean the IRS will be wanting to tax it).  For example, if the XYZ company had a new cleaning product, and you helped promote it by talking about it on your blog/Facebook/Twitter/etc, and received “XYZ bucks” to use for future purchases every time you mention the product, it would need to be disclosed by you.  If the FTC discovered that you were not disclosing this info, they would go after XYZ company, not you.  The information about bloggers being fined was incorrect, and she also stressed that these are guidelines (not rules) put in place to protect consumers.

In short, independent book review bloggers are not the same as pay-per-post bloggers and do not need to disclose where they receive the books.  Now, disclosing this info may not be required, but it seems to make good sense ethically.  In the past, when writing reviews, I have tried to state that I was reviewing an ARC I received, but I don’t think I’ve gone out of my way to mention if I purchased the book or checked it out from the library.  I intend to do this going forward because it just seems like good common sense.

Others have written more in-depth posts on this, so if you want more info, I’d recommend Liz’s post at Tea Cozy and this one at Galleysmith. Edited to add Writer Jenn’s post, too.

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