Friday, June 24
(9 a.m.–12 p.m., W109B)
A participant-guided event where you determine the topics. Could be the most
useful—and timely—event at the conference, or could end up in a gripe session.
Graphic Novel Friday Forum: Fandom—All Access for Comics.
(12–4 p.m., W414CD)
Once the domain of geeks and nerds, “fandom is the entry point for readers and
viewers to see themselves, and if they can’t find themselves, they create representation.” In this session, explore how libraries can use fandom to establish relationships
with readers, publishers, and creators.
Exploring Learning Through Making
(1–3:30 p.m., W206C)
An opportunity to investigate how maker activities enable learning and network
with other makerspace folk.
Youmedia Network & YALSA Forum: Connecting Around Connected Learning
(2:30–4 p.m., Rosen Center, Salon 01/02)
Connected learning is about using digital technology to customize education to the
learner; here you can hear from those using a connected learning approach. Looks like
a terrific session for both public and school people who work with teens.
Emerging Leaders Poster Session and Reception
(3–4 p.m., S320A–C)
An ALA-sponsored leadership-development program that brings together library
staff to work together on problems. Stop by to see what they came up with—maybe
you can use it!
Saturday, June 25
Inbe Tween: Services and Programs for Tweens in Public Libraries
(8:30–10 a.m., W102B)
They’re a hot consumer demographic, getting plenty of attention from publishers
and retailers, but should libraries market to tweens separately from children’s programming? What do you do with sixth graders who won’t use the children’s room but
are too young for your teen center?
Increasing Early Literacy Skills Through Creative Outdoor Spaces
(8:30–10 a.m., W206A)
We aren’t all fortunate enough to have an outdoor space, but if you do, here’s how
to modify and redesign it so that it can have an impact on early literacy skills.
(8:30–10 a.m., W102A)
Everything you need to know about making your library a leader in building a
sustainable, resilient, and regenerative community. Required attendance for library
leaders and managers.
Words, Words, Words: Increasing Young Children’s Exposure to Language
Through the Words at Play Vocabulary Initiative
(8:30–10 a.m., W108)
PW columnist Brian Kenney o;ers his annual “highly subjective”
list of ALA program highlights
BY BRIAN KENNEY
There’s no greater evidence of the vitality, range, and aspirations of libraries and librarians in America today than the annual conference of the American
Library Association (ALA). As invigorating as it is chaotic, the four-day event
(longer if you attend the preconferences)
combines the business meetings of the
association, committee meetings, award
events, meetings of affiliate organizations, a huge exhibit floor, and a whole
lot of professional programs.
But perhaps the biggest challenge for
those attending ALA is finding good programs. That may be because some of the
best programs are now held at division-level events (such as the excellent conference held by the Public Library
Association this past April). Or maybe
online venues are sucking up the most
innovative content these days? Or it could
just be that with the exhibit floor, the
awards banquets, the publishers’ breakfasts and teas, the Unconference, scores of
readings, dozens of receptions, celebrity
appearances, Kitchen Table Conversations,
the Gaming Lounge, the Zine Pavilion,
and the free samples of vegan tom yum
goong at the What’s Cooking stage, many
of the programs at ALA feel vestigial, like
the appendix: still with us, but no one is
exactly sure why.
What follows are my (as always)
highly subjective program picks. Note:
All events are in the Orange County
Convention Center unless otherwise
noted, and last-minute changes are
always possible. Be sure to check the
final ALA program for any changes.
PW columnist Brian Kenney is the director of the
White Plains (N. Y.) Public Library, and former
editorial director of both Library Journal and