Monday, July 4, 2011

ALA wrap-up: The conference just isn't complete without a little longer-form reflection

I have spent the last week physically recovering from whatever I picked up at ALA. What can I say? The sessions were terrific, the author events unparalleled (the Printz speeches were in turn hysterical and distressing, the Newbery/Caldecott left me in a puddle of tears), and I attended new councilor orientation (convincing me I won't ever have a spare minute at Annual, not for the next three years -- I will have to sneak off to Youth Media Awards events from here on out). Except for the Out of Print Nancy Drew tee and a signed copy of One Crazy Summer, I didn't do very well on the exhibit floor, emerging without the few ARCs I particularly coveted, but I need to be working on my dissertation for the rest of the summer anyway....and it was my most favorite American city, which made the (surprise!) drive a little bit more bearable

What I noticed: there was palpable anxiety about e-reading, which I wrote about for the AASL blog. I think dedicated e-readers have gone from being a novelty to being a point of either pioneer-type pride or abject derision for school librarians. I don't know how this will all shake out, because the emerging models don't take libraries into account and the new K12 etextbook model is based on per-student licensing.  I don't want this to be the hill we school librarians die upon...

Most exciting: meeting new school and youth services librarians, full of energy and idealism. There is a new attitude there, and I find it quite invigorating, but it does make me feel a bit of an elderly stateswoman, if one from a very small and insignificant country.

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