Subscribe to SLJ
Practically Paradise
Inside Practically Paradise

Midwinter Meetings

Forgive me, but I was so busy meeting and having fun at ALA Midwinter that I neglected to include you blog readers. If I promise to include you in ALA Annual, will you forgive me? In this age of virtual participation, people ask why they should attend meetings. I recognize the economic hardships, but there is a great deal of value in face-to-face interactions in any association. I’d like to share just a few photos about the extra stuff that happens beyond meetings.

View the books in the exhibit halls. Okay, this may be my very favorite part of ALA meetings and annual. I love to hold the books. I love to stroke the covers, flip through the picture books, read all about the chapter books, pick up more ARC’s than any person’s shoulders can carry, and sneak peeks at the new titles being developed. I get to share my ideas and concerns about titles and even celebrate with publishers when their books garner awards. 

I was so excited to see Carmen Agra Deedy’s newest book 14 Cows for America. I’ll be writing more about this title, be sure.

I love touring the booths! Here’s a shot from the Penguin Group. I’m working on a blog post about Three Cups of Tea and wondering how I can tie this into the President’s Program featuring 2006 Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus

There are events of the association occurring. This year marks the celebration of many things ALA – the 40th anniversary of the Freedome to Read Foundation, the 70th anniversary of the Code of Ethics, and so much more.

When you attend the meetings, you do meet fascinating people. Here’s a shot of Eli Mina the ALA Parliamentarian. Eli is one of my very favorite people. He knows Sturgis’ forewards and backwards, but is the most gracious person. If you ever make a mistake, I hope you have Eli beside you to whisper "That’s not correct" and to tell you how to procede properly.

There are hidden entertainments at ALA. Denver featured a tribute to the music of John Denver. Here’s a local performing my favorite songs during the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony. 

Never been to Denver? I had a great view from the top of the hotel. Here is an image looking out at the mountains before we had snow. I try to make time to at least get away from the convention for a couple hours to see something of the scenery and the local restaurants. 

Take your friends with you. Here is Terri Kirk with me and the librarians at a local brew pub. Since I was still on respiratory antibiotics I stayed with the vegetarian chili bean soup. Yum! 

and last, but not least. When traveling to "exotic" locations like Denver in winter, I try to reconnect with family and friends. I hadn’t seen my brother Dan and my youngest niece Jessie for FIVE YEARS. I’m so happy I could visit them for an afternoon before ALA began. Thanks, Dan and Jessie, for making the trip up to see me.



    Diane I could not agree more. I am all for the virtual tagalong of conferences, but you are absolutely correct in how much is missed, and why many STILL want to go in person. There is much networking to be done f2f as well as friends to make. Given a choice every time, I would opt for the attendance and chance to rub elbows with like minded people every time. And I have been involved in my share of tagalong virtual conference attendance. I’m just thankful for the opportunities to network, virtual or in person. But yes, f2f is best. Even better is to maximize the fraternizing with the virtual audience while there in person. Powerful learning I can attest to with first hand experience from Educon last January. Thanks for sharing. You look like you had a great time.

  2. Thanks for writing. I should point out that I ALWAYS have a good time. I am trying to enjoy every moment of life where I am and I love to share this enjoyment with others. I loved sharing with the virtual audience during SLJ’s Library Leadership Summit this fall and I’m looking forward to the innovative things AASL will be doing this fall. Still, the best conference is one where you get to attend, touch the books/computers/equipment, and relate f2f with others.