Today was a great day at ALA Annual. My first program was the first of many Auditorium Speaker Series, this one with Nancy Pearl (renowned Reader’s Advisory guru) interviewing Mary McDonagh Murphy whose documentary of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is being released just in time for the 50th anniversary of the masterpiece’s first publishing. Interspersed with the interview were snippets from the documentary which include scenes from the movie and readings by famous authors. I am not the biggest TKAM fan, in fact, I think I read it too young to really appreciate it (thanks, public school!). But the hour was very enjoyable.
After that I had over an hour to kill so I decided to get a start on the 1,500 booths in the exhibit hall. In that time I picked up the following: 7 books, 2 tote bags, a t-shirt, a notebook, a bookmark, a window cling, and a pen. I’ve included pictures for your enjoyment.
The bumper sticker I paid for. And I can’t wait to stick it right on my car. Really label myself 🙂
One of the tote bags is from a co. called Lapham’s Quarterly. I especially loved this exhibit, because of my love of history (Thanks, SMCM for the undergrad degree!) It’s a scholarly journal chock full of primary sources. The edition I chose was Sports & Games. The poetry, photographs, drawings and essays and just fabulous. I can’t wait to tell a former professor about this.
The galleys (pre-published books meant for editors, reviewers and proofreaders) I picked up are:
Frozen Secrets, Antarctica Revealed by Sally M. Walker
Don’t You Believe It: exposing myths behind 250 commonly believed fallacies by Herb Reich
Packing for Mars: the curious science of life in the void by Mary Roach
Gourmet Meals in Crappy Little Kitchens signed especially for me by author and chef Jennifer Schaertl
All is Forgotten, Nothing is Lost by Lan Samantha Chang
Generation Change: 150 ways we can change ourselves, our country, and our world by Jayan Kalathil and Melissa Bolton-Klinger
Next I went to my second program on E-Government Services, led by members of the ALA’s E-Government Services Subcommittee. You may be asking yourself “what is e-gov’t?” Let me explain. Over the past few years to cut costs many federal and state governments closed social service offices (food stamps, welfare, disability, etc.) and put everything online instead. After these closures, people came in waves to public libraries. Why? Because public libraries have free internet access and knowledgeable reference librarians. So e-gov’t is more than a library service. It’s a new way of life. All public librarians, regardless of their title, need to be trained on assisting customers on how to properly fill out these very important forms and documents. To learn more about UMD’s new iSchool concentration on e-gov’t, please visit their website.
Next was a fabulous program titled Finding the Balance: Kids’ Rights, Parental Demands and Librarian’s Role. Led by four members of the Intellectual Freedom Committee we were given information to support our stance on children and teen privacy. For example, parents may come to the library wanting to know what their child has checked out b/c it may not be appropriate. Or a police officer asks a school librarian for the check-out history of a particular student. And according to the ALA Code of Ethics, that would be infringing on the privacy rights of our customers. I would love to have a conversation on this with someone, perhaps I will in my Summer Session II course at UMD: Children’s Services.
After another round of exhibits, I went to Casting the E-book Hook: we can’t let this one get away. The speaker was Doug Uhlmann, a 6-12 librarian at a charter school in Philadelphia, who gave us pros and cons about using e-book readers in our libraries, whether academic or public. Some of the cons include fragility, cost, and the time librarians would have to put in to re-setting admin/mgmt settings before every check-out. The pros include the lack of distract-ability (like with iPads), the “pay-per-view” option that replaces the need to purchase a book that is guaranteed to be used only once.
So my absolute favorite part of the day was hearing the cheers of my fellow ALA-ers who were watching the USA v. Ghana game from the TVs in the main atrium. Here is a pic of the fun they were all having:
Tune in tomorrow night for a wrap-up of my third day of ALA!!