Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Midwinter, the best ever

What else is there to say about the conference? It seems like an eon since I’ve been back...I was lucky enough to get to write up my favorite things for School Library Journal, so read more about Teen Services Underground and YA Smackdown there -- it's all grassroots, which is especially thrilling.
At the Friday night USBBY event with Sabaa Tahir, the seating did not anticipate the capacity crowd drawn by this debut author. It was especially thrilling to get to introduce USBBY to some of the really exciting, globally-minded youth services librarians out there.

What an author! What a debut!
Our Odyssey deliberations were stimulating and somewhat inevitable. It such a great group of really detail-oriented listeners, our consensus was swift and without contention. For the Youth Media Awards madness, our humble award committee scored front row seats, even in front of the Newbery and Caldecott crews. I’m still not sure how that happened.
Reserved seating...
Stickered up!
Last Monday was a lovely morning of surprises. I was glad the Morris supported my absolute adoration for Gabi, a Girl in Pieces, and the Schneider recognized Gail Giles’ moving Girls Like Us.  I was really thrilled with so many turns this year. Poetry for the Newbery? A picture book for the Stonewall? Six Caldecott honors, including a graphic novel and nonfiction? The times, they are a-changin.

As I think back to Midwinter, my mind lingers on non-library things, like watching kids make snow angels in the middle of a deserted Michigan Avenue late Sunday night, the bellman who was so sure the YMAs would have been cancelled, given that it was the fifth-largest blizzard in recorded Chicago history, and an early-morning conversation with Daniel Nayeri from Workman, about their in-house inventor, 3D printing prototypes and some really innovative board books. It is going to seem an eon until San Francisco, but I can't wait to celebrate with ALL our Odyssey medalists and the other YMA awardees.  

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