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A Fuse #8 Production
Inside A Fuse #8 Production

Just Call Me Guy Incognito: ALA Annual Conference 2012 (Day One)

Check this out:

That would be my press pass for this year’s 2012 ALA Conference held in beautiful (though strangely stormy and cold as of Thursday) Anaheim, California.  Having hopped a plane from my native New York I now find myself on the opposite coast, a full country-sized swath away from my young.  Fortunately there are things to distract me.

This press pass, for example.  Though I am now hold the Youth Materials Specialist position with NYPL I like that I can put my hoits and my toits on hold as I canvass the conference floor.  This press pass allows me to do so.  Note the “Plain City, OH” location.  I didn’t do that myself, it just sort of happened in the course of some of the registration craziness and I couldn’t be more pleased.  Now I can be my own secret self, tiptoeing about like a sneaky pete.  And nooooobody will ever know the difference (unless they read this blog post, of course, but I mean, c’mon, what are the chances of that?).

Now I know that we’re still in the midst of the Top 100 Books countdowns and I have every intention of keeping those up but I will ALSO be reporting while I am here when I am able.  I would have done #4 yesterday, I swear, but I met up with my sister and then in the course of things I saw this sign overlooking a parking lot.

A veritable sign of a sign.  Soon thereafter I ended up in a bathroom that looked like this (forgive me my sideways images):

Yes.  It is a room covered in scary clown images.  It is an apartment filled with scary clowns and a pot-bellied pig.  I’m not kidding about the pig.  This is my sister’s apartment and when we walked in Thursday night it was under an enormous beanbag.  I walk in and this big black beanbag starts snorting and walking towards me.  Worth the price of admission to Anaheim alone, right there.  So anyway, walking snorting beanbags sort of drove blogging from my mind for a while.

As for the conference itself, as of Friday it hadn’t burst into full swing.  That will come this morning (which will be spent by me running like a chicken with my head cut off for the first four hours then eating eating eating for the remainder of the day).  There were some low-key celebrations, though.  Word on the street has it that Daniel Handler successfully shocked the socks off a large number of librarians at a Booklist-related Guys Read event.  That’s the most interesting thing to happen, short of Rocco Staino losing his iPad on a plane, Mr. Schu wearing the world’s greatest fake mustache, and the fact that the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet tickets are all already sold out on account of the upcoming and highly anticipated Jack Gantos speech.

Now I relax in my hotel room shared with Roxanne Feldman (Fairrosa Cyber Library of Children’s Literature) and Monica Edinger (Educating Alice) where we prepare for our full assault.

By the way, I only brought my contacts and not my glasses so if you see me widening my eyes at you, rest assured that I’m sure it’s just because the ones I’m wearing are drying out in the pure unfiltered conference center air.

More as I hear of it.

About Elizabeth Bird

Elizabeth Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.


  1. Can’t read the sign — I mean, SOMETHING’s by permit only… Care to hint?

    • Elizabeth Bird says:

      The sign reads “Newberry”. Which is spelled differently but I’ll take it as a sign anyway.

  2. I love synchronicity.