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Excited for ALA Annual!

ALA Annual LogoThis year, I was chosen as the public librarian recipient to the YALSA/Baker & Taylor ALA Conference Grant for first time attendees. I am beyond excited to meet people I’ve only connected with online, face-to-face, and be in an environment filled with librarians. To have my first ALA in New Orleans also thrills me and I’ve already been preparing my schedule to maximize my time and learning opportunities. Here are a few of the events I am particularly eager to attend.

The Printz acceptance speeches will be the highlight of the event, I can already foresee it. Based on previous speeches, I look forward to laughs and genuine emotion popping through from the speakers. It is not too often I get to hear from young adult writers so I am highly anticipating this event.

While I imagine ALA as a whole is going to be days of fun networking and learning, I am also looking forward to the YA Coffee Klatch. A little bit more personal with YA writers I admire like A.S. King, Julie Halpern, Catherine Gilbert Murdoch and more. It truly doesn’t get more wonderful than spending time with writers who make my teens so happy to read.

But perhaps better than anything will be the chance to hear from my fellow youth services colleagues. There is a multitude of useful sessions being presented. You can find out all the details at YALSA’s wiki for the 2011 ALA Conference but some of the programs I am most anticipating include Pecha Kucha: Teens and Technology, Teens as Advocates, and the Teen Services Mashup, where I will be presenting along with another blogger. There will be so much going on and I wish I could go to everything.

And then there is New Orleans itself which I cannot wait to explore. It will be my first time in NOLA and my first ALA Annual! Talk about a summer of wonderful firsts.

Do any of you veteran Annual attendees have any tips to share? Do you have any great teen novels set in the Big Easy that should be a prerequisite before I can visit New Orleans? Please share in the comments. I will admit, I’m one excited newbie and I wouldn’t have had this chance without the help of YALSA and Baker & Taylor, so I definitely recommend looking into the YALSA Baker & Taylor Conference Grant.

Sarah Wethern, currently reading Supernaturally by Kiersten White.

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Sarah Wethern

One Comment

  1. You HAVE to read Paula Morris’s “Ruined.” It’s a ghost story, but the setting of New Orleans and the lore of Mardi Gras and the city’s haunts is so, so good.

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