Gregory Lum Reports on ALA

It was a whirlwind of activities at the ALA in DC in June. In chronological order, here are my top ten highlights:

1) Participating in a Congressional tour of the Library of Congress. I saw the Gutenberg Bible and Thomas Jefferson’s personal library collection.

2) Attending the opening of the Exhibits on Friday evening.

3) Listening to several authors read their works from fiction to poetry at the Many Voices, One Nation on Friday evening. This event highlighted ALA President Camila Alire’s Family Literacy Focus, an initiative to encourage families in ethnically diverse communities to read and learn together. At the reception, I was able to personally visit with a few of the authors including Marina Budhos and R. Dwayne Betts.

4) Serving as chair of YALSA’s 2011 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers committee. After many emails and blogs, it was nice to put faces to names at our first meeting. We spent ten hours discussing the nominated titles on Saturday and Sunday. Here is a link to the current nominations: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/booklistsawards/quickpicks/quickpick.cfm If you would like to make a field nomination, complete this online form: http://yalsa.ala.org/forms/quickpick.php

5) Attending the Random House gala at the Newseum on Saturday. PBS and Random House gave a sneak peek of the upcoming Dr. Seuss animated television series. Comedian Martin Short is the voice of Dr. Seuss.

6) Attending the Newbery/Caldecott banquet on Sunday evening. I sat with a contingent of Oregon librarians from Bend, Portland, Tigard, and Lebanon. Jerry Pinkney gave a very heartwarming acceptance speech for his book, The Lion and the Mouse. Rebecca Stead, Newbery medal recipient, spoke graciously about her work and receiving the medal. Many standing ovations were given throughout the evening.

7) Attending the Farrar Strauss / First Second / Roaring Brook Press breakfast at the National Press Club on Monday morning. The view was very impressive!

8) Running through the exhibits one last time on Monday to get free books and posters.

9) Attending the Printz Awards ceremony on Monday. I listened to Libba Bray’s hilarious speech as well as the four honor recipients.

10) Avoiding the humidity by taking the Thomson Gale busses and DC taxis! Yikes, the east coast is HOT!

Thank you to OYAN for this scholarship to pay for the ALA annual registration. I encourage other OYAN members to attend national conferences.