Coming to Portland for the YALSA Symposium?

Here are some reasons to get excited.

Everything happens in the same hotel.

If you’ve been to any big conferences, you know you can spend at least as much time getting from session to session as you do in the sessions. Maybe you made a special effort to trek to a particular program, only to discover that you had the time right, but it was happening in the other Hyatt. The more intimate scale of the Symposium means you’ll have an easier time getting where you want to go, and more chances to interact with other attendees.

Everyone attending is interested in teen services.

Have you ever told someone enthusiastically that you work with and for teens, only to have them respond with something like “Better you than me!”? That won’t happen at the Symposium! It’s a fabulous opportunity to connect with like-minded professionals who are engaged and excited about working with teens. Tip: When you meet someone and exchange business cards, write a note on the card with a bit of what you talked about; it’s a good way to make sure you remember them after you get home. Example: “graphic novels + STEAM, shared love of banh mi and Hamilton”

Powell’s is great. So are a lot of other places to find books, comics and zines.

Powell’s is our fantastic local bookstore juggernaut, but there are a lot of other gems (some walkable, some a public transit ride from the hotel) including Reading Frenzy, Mother Foucault’s, Green Bean Books, A Children’s Place Bookstore, Bridge City Comics, Floating World Comics, Cosmic Monkey Comics, the Independent Publishing Resource Center. And Multnomah County Library‘s Friends of the Library operates a store in the downtown Central Library.

The Portland Art Museum is close to the conference hotel and stays open until 8 pm on Fridays. Check out their Seeing Nature exhibit.

It’s true: Portland has a lot of super tasty food carts.

Full day at the Symposium isn’t enough for you? Consider the Lit Crawl on Saturday night.

Have time to decompress on Sunday after the Symposium ends? Try the Lan Su Chinese Garden, or if you prefer your decompression a little louder, the Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade.

Sara Ryan writes books and comics for teens and others, most recently Bad Houses with art by Carla Speed McNeil, and works as the Teen Services Specialist for Multnomah County Library.

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