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ALA Conference-Bright Lights, Great Minds!

I attended the 2014 Annual American Library Association Conference held this past week in Las Vegas, Nevada. Temperatures soared well into the 110 degrees, but it was an amazing experience nonetheless. I wanted to recap a few of the things I did while at ALA that I think you may enjoy (I will refrain from talking about delictable meals and desserts Vegas had to offer-but WOW)! Here are some take-aways I think you may be interested in: 

· Attended sessions/booktalks on new YA and children’s literature…if you have not read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart read it ASAP!  HUGE APPLAUDS from us about this one!

· Attended AASL Region 3 Affiliate Assembly meetings (two total) and discussed AASL concerns and commendations in order to share with ALA as a whole.

· Attended the AASL President’s Program and heard from Donalyn Miller, The Book Whisperer. She was AMAZING and has some innovative ideas to get students reading and stay reading! If you have not read her two books yet-do so! Her 3rd is due out here next Winter/Spring and focuses on leadership in education.

· Attended the 2014 Best Apps for Teaching and Learning Session-great experience and sat seats away from Joyce Velenza (librarian celebrity moment). For the list of apps, visit:

· Attended a session with OELMA President Susan Yutzey on Project Connect…an iniative Follett Learning is launching which focuses on leadership and stresses the importance of certified school library media specialists in EVERY SCHOOL! Awesome to hear from Mooresville, NC Superintendent Dr. Mark A. Edwards. He believes the two most important people in a school are 1. The Principal and 2. The library media specialist. Yes, we loved hearing him speak and had to speak to him afterwards and say THANK YOU! He really does GET WHAT WE DO!  

To learn more about him, check out this link:

To learn more about Project Connect visit:

·Spent some time in the exhibit hall…I met and had books signed by Maggie Stiefvater, Holly Black, Jay Asher, and Christopher Paul Curtis. Major author celebrity excitement was had by all in attendance! There were SO many authors there…and the lines were crazy. It was clear YA librarians LOVE their YA authors judging by the lines and excitement!

·Attended the ALA President’s Program which hosted author Lois Lowry and actor Jeff Bridges. They spoke about the filming of The Giver (out August 15) as well as comparing writing to filming the movie and the impact of the book on the movie. It was really interesting to hear how when Jeff read the book as an adult he instantly thought it NEEDED to be a movie. And many screenwriters later…it is one!

· Went on a field trip to a youth correctional facility library just outside of Las Vegas. They are still in the process of planning the library/computer space and wanted our “expert” librarian input. It was a unique experience to hear from another area of librarianship and offer our thoughts and ideas to them based on our own school library experiences.

I know this was a lot of information, but this is just a portion of what I will implement and use in the future from conference! If you are able to attend ALA conferences, I highly suggest it-and we need more OHIO school library media specialists there! A few of us met for lunch at Serendipty 3’s and it was great to network with Christina Dorr, Liz Deskins, and Susan Yutzey for a little. I also met some other SLMS from other states and plan to connect with them in the future for ideas and networking. Next June, ALA Annual will be held in San Francisco. Looks like we are heading back West for another amazing national conference!