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Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

ALA Still is FUN

I’m still having fun at ALA. I wish you’d take out an envelope and put $1 in it. There, that wasn’t so bad. Just put another one in every day and you’ll have enough for your flight to Denver next January for ALA Midwinter. Put in a couple more $’s and you’ll have your hotel room saved plus registration costs. Conference doesn’t have to cost as much as we spend. I left TN with $21 and am still doing well.
There are enough free meals if you are willing to give someone else your opinion or serve on a committee. Vendors are keeping me supplied with candies, cake, and even diet Pepsi’s. There’s coffee in my hotel room so I can avoid the Starbucks grande Mocha with whipped cream and sprinkles. 

Remember how I enjoyed Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life As We Knew It? I was simply strolling down the aisles, minding my own business when The Dead & The Gone jumped off the counter, whacked me across the forehead, and tried to slide into my purse. What’s this? The book wants to go home with me I pled with the sales clerks. They assured me that for only $5 that book could be mine. 

Readers, I had to buy it. It looked so needy and defenseless lying on that counter. Who knows how many more days it might have lasted if no one had rescued it?! It’s a great deal. Now, I just have to go figure out where I’m going to get another $5 so I can pay the $10 fee for the SuperShuttle ride to the airport on Thursday.

The ASPCA Henry Berg award ceremony keeps getting better and better. The food is great (and vegetarian). The beverages are freely accessible. There are well-known authors and illustrators present to sign books. There is a fancy presentation with trophies. There are cute gifts disguised as table decorations. 

One of my highlights was chatting with Joanne Ryder (pictured with Allison). Her nonfiction verse with animals and plants as the focus continue to charm students; however, many of her books are going out of print. She told us that publishers aren’t producing great nonfiction for the very young any more. How terrible! This is an outrage! Don’t publishers realize the cicadas are coming back this year and I need to get a new copy of Ryder’s cicadas book. We need her approach to verse and nonfiction. Come on, publishers, produce more.

Doesn’t Miriam look great? We paused for this shot then I had to dash off to two more events. Fun!


  1. ANN NORED says:

    Diane, Thanks for sharing your experiences at ALA with us. I have enjoyed getting to see ALA through your eyes. I am already planning to go to Chicago next summer.

  2. susie q says:

    I always wanted to go to ALA when I worked in the library and the book store. Glad you are sharing with so many.

  3. Miriam R. says:

    Thank you for promoting and attending the ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award on your blog each year. Hope to see you in Chicago!

  4. unemployed librarian says:

    $1 a day? Hard to do when you’re a year (or more!) out of library school and still haven’t found employment! Every last cent from our welfare checks goes to buy gas to go to interviews for jobs we won’t get.

  5. Do I understand your plight?! Raising 4 teenage boys has meant no money for me forever. I have had to sacrifice a great deal to be active professionally, but I made the choice for the good of the profession. I could save money and never do anything but my daily job tasks. Then someday in my glorious older years I’d have funds to enjoy them. Or, I can give up some things now and try to make the world a better place for everyone now. Have I mentioned how tired I am of peanut butter and ramen noodles? We should chat more in-depth because I tell everyone I am the most impoverished school librarian to go to these conferences. The hotel shampoos and soap keep us going. I always have a roomful of friends to reduce costs and am just open about needing to find ways to save money at conference. I have been where you are and am not far from it now.
    There are many jobs for school librarians in Tennessee. Also jobs for public librarians, academic, etc. I’m not sure where you are living, but from talking to other people it seems there are no jobs in places like Massachusetts while we struggle to find people in TN.