Sunday, January 6, 2008

ALA is a coming

I'm getting all excited about attending ALA in Philadelphia next weekend.
(ALA = American Library Association)

I go to these ALA conferences with two hats on.
1) I'm a children's librarian, so I go to attend book discussions, committee meetings that are open to the public, special programs for librarians, and of course the Exhibits -- for the new books and new technology.

2) I also go as a writer. Okay, I think of myself as a writer, but out in public, I wear the tag of "author." (It's hard to think of yourself as an author -- aren't authors dead people?) I look at all the books being offered at publisher's booths and take note of who is interested in what type of book. (and think about what I might have that might interest them. I'll take that information home with me and mail proposals out to them, later.) I also talk to the editors, marketing people, and other writers. Just small talk. By now, a lot of them are friends -- people I've worked with or know from online groups.

2) Also as a writer, I'm often signing my books at my publisher's booth. Or at a generic booth.
Next Sunday I'll be signing at the SCBWI booth #1058 from 3 - 5 pm.

4) Back to my Children's Librarian hat:
On Monday the Children's Media Awards are announced -- at 8:00 am. ouch! Will I or won't I be able to wake up in time to hear who the committees have picked for Newbery, Caldecott, and Sibert (non-fiction) awards?
This is always an exciting time for Children's Librarians. Have we read the book? Do we have it in our library branch so we can immediately put it on display? When I'm not at the midwinter ALA myself, I'm poised at my workplace computer, constantly refreshing the ALA/ ALSC webpage to see what books (and other media) won awards. But Monday I'll be there, in the room where the announcements are made.

Hope to see you at ALA.

-wendie O


laurasalas said...

I wish I was going, Wendie! Someday...

Have a great time!

Wendie O said...

That's the problem with you living in the middle of the country. You have to travel to get to conventions.

However, ALA is going to be in Chicago next year: July 9–15, 2009. I'll expect to see you there. Get your publishers to give you an exhibitor's pass and offer to sign books. it's fun, and good advertising for your books -- and for them.

A couple of years ago, I signed at three publishers' booths all at the same ALA conference. Fun!