ALA in Chicago

I feel lucky that I was in a position to attend the American Library Association’s Annual Conference in Chicago this summer.  The sessions were terrific! 

Saturday 8-9am: Gregory Maguire

Abstract from ALA Program Guide:  

Gregory Maguire is the bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost, Mirror Mirror and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked, Son of a Witch, and A Lion Among Men.  Wicked, now a beloved classic, is the basis for the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical of the same name. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts. Gregory Maguire is also a board member of the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance a national not-for-profit that actively advocates for literacy, literature, and libraries.  Every year, NPR asks a writer to compose an original story with a Christmas theme. In 2008, Gregory Maguire reinvented the Hans Christian Andersen classic The Little Match Girl for a new time and new audiences. When it was first translated from Danish and published in England in the mid-nineteenth century, audiences likely interpreted the Little Match Girl’s dying visions of lights and a grandmother in heaven as metaphors of religious salvation. Maguire’s new piece, entitled Matchless, re-illuminates Andersen’s classic, using his storytelling magic to rekindle Andersen’s original intentions, and to suggest transcendence, the permanence of spirit, and the continuity that links the living and the dead.

Saturday, 10:30 – 12:00 American Association of School Librarians: President’s Program:  Literacy Leadership and Librarian Flair:  Engagning 21st-Century Readers with Three Award-Winning young Adult and Children’s Authors

Abstract from ALA Program Guide:

Come hear how Laurie Halse Anderson, Jacqueline Woodson and Alan Lawrence Sitomer are connecting with librarians in order to better enthuse young readers. Discover how to inspire students to embrace books, improve competencies, and build lifelong bridges to reading and literacy in the 21st Century. Attendees will hear the “inside” strategies used to grasp, excite and engage today’s students. Speakers: Laurie Halse Anderson, Jacqueline Woodson and Alan Lawrence Sitomer

Saturday 1:30-3:00pm 

Abstract from the ALA Program Guide: Booklist/Booklist Online: Books and Blogs, Made for Each Other? Sponsored by ALA PUBLISHING

Librarians, readers, publishers, and authors have embraced blogs as a way to locate, learn about, and promote good books to read. Our diverse and distinguished panel of bloggers, including Mary Burkey (Audiobooker), John Green (Brotherhood 2.0), Nora Rawlinson (EarlyWord), and Kaite Mediatore Stover (Book Group Buzz), and moderated by Booklist Online Senior Editor Keir Graff (Likely Stories), will discuss how to use the power of the web—for the good of books. (They’ll talk about Twitter, too.)

Sunday 8-10am

Abstract from ALA Program Guide: AASL’s Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning: Categories, Criteria, and Collaborative Strategies

Do you know which are the best websites to support curriculum development and inquiry based learning? The new AASL 21st-Century Learning Standards promote inquiry learning, so wouldn’t it be a powerful strategy to have a handful of websites to entice your teachers to collaboratively develop inquiry-based curriculum? Join the AASL Teaching and Learning Task Force at this interactive session to learn about innovative, authoritative curriculum websites.  Speakers: Pam Berger, Nancy LeCrone, Elizabeth Deskins, Linda Friel

10:30-12:00 Exciting NASA Materials for Libraries

Abstract from ALA Program Guide: Find out about NASA educational materials for libraries, amazing Websites about astronomy (Amazing Space), and the traveling exhibit “Visions of the Universe,” funded by NASA and developed by the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore and the ALA Public Programs Office.

Speakers: Denise Smith, Manager, Special Projects, and Frank Summers, astrophysicist, Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, Md.;Susan Brandehoff, ALA Public Programs Office.

Sunday 1:30-3:00pm  AASL The Best of the Best from the University Presses: Books You Should Know About

Abstract from ALA Program Guide: 25-30 titles will be presented by a panel of PLA and AASL-member librarians. Titles represent those featured in the 2009 University Press Books Selected for Public and Secondary School Libraries, an annual collection development bibliography produced by the Association of American University Presses in coordination with the AASL’s American University Press Books committee. Book subjects include art, literature, history, multicultural studies, political science, and memoirs. A raffle of all books presented will be drawn at the end of the program.

Love this Toolkit for the Expert Websearcher maintained by Pat Ensor in association with LITA.  Excellent resource, Pat — thank you!

Sunday Evening — The Art Institute & Caldecott Winners exhibit — Millenium Park & then Digipalooza at the Chicago Public Library!

Monday 10:30-12:30 Gov Docs Kids Group: Learn and Have Fun with Government Resources

This program will help participants promote government information while engaging K-12 students in learning about history, culture, science and government. Games, interactive activities, teaching aids and lesson plans will be highlighted, along with exciting tools to enhance student learning. We will provide librarians with a collection of free government resources to advance their reference skills and aid in collection development decisions. We will focus on resources available at the Gov Docs Kids Group website, which includes primary source materials and links to U.S. Government Web sites for kids. Speakers: Mary Burtzloff, Archivist, National Archives and Records Administration,Central Plains Region; Arlene Wiler, Staff Member, Johnson County Library; Tom Adamich, Head of Metadata Services, Muskingum College Library;Cherie Bronkar, Head of User Services, Muskingum College Library

1:30-3:00pm Jumping, Jiving, Singing and Drama in the Elementary School Library

How can you make children’s literature come alive to address multiple intelligences? How can you assure that children will LOVE coming to library and associate these good feelings with books? Come join this experiential workshop and take home lots of ideas on how to infuse your library lessons with multi-sensory experiences for children. We will move, sing, draw, use puppets, learn story stretches and ways dramatic play can impact executive function (imagination, making choices, etc.). Speakers: Susan Stone

What a beautiful city!  The waterfront was most impressive, and the easy access to the museums, the aquarium, the Art Institute & outdoor evening concerts added a tremendous amount to the experience.

For future visits to Chicago, I highly recommend The Curry House on S. Plymouth Court — an excellent restaurant, that serves Indian and Nepalese Cuisine.  Every meal (yes — we went back twice!) left us full, but not stuffed. You can even order online from your hotel.

The Essex Hotel (Room 403 overlooks the pool’s patio) is within walking distance of the Field House, the Planetarium, the Aquarium, Millenium Park, and Navy Pier.  Also, two blocks away, you will enjoy wonderful Chicago blues music at Buddy Guy’s Legends

The Chicago SummerDance is “an eleven-week festival featuring one-hour dance lessons by professional instructors, followed by two hours of live music and dancing on a 4,600 square foot open-air dance floor in the Spirit of Music Garden in Grant Park, 601 S. Michigan Ave. SummerDance events occur every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening, 6 to 9:30 pm, and Sunday afternoon, 4 to 7 pm, weather-permitting. ”  We dropped in on 3 evenings of live music to relax after the conference sessions and really enjoyed the creole band from Louisiana, Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole.

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