There's a huge exhibits area where publishers show off their newest books, where librarians and "normal people" like authors and illustrators can browse this display along with the librarians who will be buying these books for their public. There are meetings and lectures about programming and library buildings and best practices for library administration.
(Booksellers have their own convention in late May or early June where they hold meetings and browse the publisher's displays. It's called BEA.)
And book discussions. (at the end of the conference a list of the best books of the year will be issued, called Notable Books.)
And book celebrations.
The huge banquet for the Newbery and Caldecott winners where they get awards and give speeches.
The luncheons honoring other authors or celebrating impressive librarians.
And the exhibits. (can you tell I love the exhibits?)
Here's a write up about this convention by an Harold Underdown written when he was an editor at Charlesbridge, giving the publisher's view of the ALA convention.
Can you tell I wish I was there?
Yup, I wish I was there.
The 2013 Newbery Medal winners being honored Sunday evening are:
The One and Only Ivan
written by Katherine Applegate, published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, a division of HarperCollins Publishers
Bomb: The Race to Build—and Steal—the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon
by Steve Sheinkin and published by Flash Point, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press
Splendors and Glooms
by Laura Amy Schlitz and published by Candlewick Press
Three Times Lucky
by Sheila Turnage and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group
The 2013 Caldecott Medal winners being honored Sunday evening are:
This Is Not My Hat
illustrated and written by Jon Klassen, published by Candlewick Press
illustrated by Peter Brown, written by Aaron Reynolds and published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, an imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
illustrated by Jon Klassen, written by Mac Barnett and published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
illustrated and written by Laura Vaccaro Seeger and published by Neal Porter Books, an imprint of Roaring Brook Press
One Cool Friend
illustrated by David Small, written by Toni Buzzeo and published by Dial Books for Young Readers, a division of Penguin Young Readers Group
Sleep Like a Tiger
illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski, written by Mary Logue and published by Houghton Mifflin Books for Children, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company