Midwinter First Timer Conference Ideas

Pam Spencer Holley – YALSA President – sent out an email today with info. for first time conference attendees. I thought it was great and would definitely be worth posting here for blog readers. Pam wrote:

Because I’ve received some questions about what a first-time attendee to Midwinter should do, once their committee meeting has ended, it seemed appropriate to send my response to several lists. And, for those of you who’ve attended many Midwinters, if I’ve missed anything, please add your comments to the list. And print out this message so you’ll have it handy to bring with you to Midwinter.

Midwinter is known as the “working” conference so there aren’t the wide range of programs that are available at Annual; though that has taken a slight change in recent years as more activities seem to be popping up. The ALA website will list some of these activities, as does the recent copy of American Libraries.

Upon Arriving – Depending upon your timing, you have two things to do—check in to your hotel and pick up your badge and conference info [if you registered in advance, some of that is sent to you, but you still need to pick up your badge holder and conference program] And wear that badge at all times, and not around your waist! Your name needs to be seen, so don’t cover it up.

And while you’re in the Conference Registration area, look for the information booth about Annual in New Orleans. You can register for Annual right then — and be sure to think about adding YALSA’s Preconference “Reading with Your Ears” to your Annual activities. This Preconference looks fabulous and is one that none of you will want to miss.

Friday night – Head to the Convention Center about 5:15pm for the annual Ribbon Cutting Ceremony that opens the Exhibits. Then from 5:30 to 7:30pm visit the Exhibits where exhibitors host a reception featuring food and lots of giveaways from the booths.

Saturday – Most of you will have your meeting at All-Committee which takes place at the Marriott Rivercenter, Salon E from 9:30am to 12:30pm. NOTE: This is correct time and is a slight change from what’s been in program. There is an earlier meeting in the same spot for Committee Chairs that begins at 8am.

YALSA policy is for all meetings to be open meetings; the only exceptions are the three award committees: Printz, Edwards and Alex. You are welcome to attend any of the other committees that meet at a time other than All-Committee. That information is available on the YALSA website.

Saturday afternoon you may want to visit some of the selection committee meetings:

  • Best Books for Young Adults meets from 1:30 to 5:30pm in 214A in Convention Center
  • Quick Picks meets at the same time in the St. Anthony Hotel, Jefferson Manor
  • Popular Paperbacks meets from 1:30 to 3:30pm in Marriott Plaza San Antonio,Conference Center B.
  • Selected Audiobooks meets from 1:30 to 6pm in the St. Anthony Hotel, Midland
  • Selected Videos/DVDs meets from 1:30 to 5:30pm in the Hyatt, Sequin.

In addition, the YALSA Board meets on Saturday afternoon from 1:30 to 3:30pm in the Convention Center, Room 003A. Attending YALSA Board meetings is a good way to observe the governance of your division.

Sunday – This is a good time to visit the Exhibits again, now that the reception is over. In the afternoon, there are several joint youth committee meetings that you might want to attend:

  • AASL/ALSC/YALSA Joint Legislation Committee meets from 1:30 to 3:30 pm in Hilton, El Mirador West
  • AASL/ALSC/YALSA Joint Intellectual Freedom Committee meets from 4 – 6pm in
    Hilton, El Mirador West
  • And, for the first time, the YALSA Great Graphic Novel Committee meets from 1:30 to 6pm at the St. Anthony Hotel/Lafitte
  • The YALSA Board also meets, in their same room, from 1:30 to 5pm.
  • Or you could listen to the teens provide their comments to the BBYA Committee from 1:30 to 3:30 in the Convention Center, Room 214 B/C

Monday – This day begins with a bang at the eagerly anticipated Youth Media Awards Press Conference. YALSA announces its ’06 Printz, Edwards and Alex winners. Get there early as the seats fill up, and this year the program begins at 8am!! Head to the Convention Center, Ballroom C [where Council meets]

Exhibits close today, and publishers often mark their books for half price, so you might want to go “shopping.” ALA also sponsors the ALA Store which has lots of intriguing goodies to buy, as well as professional materials such as books and posters. I’d advise you to shop early at the ALA Store as sometimes the supplies of favorite items run low. Be sure to look for YALSA’s Sizzling Summer Reading Programs for Young Adults, 2nd ed., which was edited by YALSA’s own, Katharine Kan.

The YALSA Board also meets, in their same room, from 10:30am to 12:30pm

And end your conference at the Joint Youth Division Membership Reception, held from 6 to 7:30pm, at the Menger Hotel, Ballroom A/B. YALSA hosts the reception this year, which is free for all attendees, though it is a cash bar. This is a great way to end your conference, mingle with people you’ve met, introduce yourself to folks you didn’t meet and wind down from an exciting time.

Questions. Contact me – pamsholley at aol.com – or your committee chair. And if you see me at conference, please come up and introduce yourself,

Pam

I wish that someone had outlined activities like that for me the first time I went to conference. It can be a little overwhelming. Now I know that it’s OK to go up to people and start talking. One of the great things I’ve discovered is now there are lots of familiar names that I know from online conversation. When I see someone I know only from a listserv or other form of electronic correspondence it’s always great to go up and say hello.

Sony eReader at CES

There’s been some buzz about the new Sony eReader announced at the Consumer Electronics Show yesterday. Word is that the display is crisp, the battery lasts a long time, it’s as light as a paperback, and it holds a large number of books. Can you see the teens you work with and know walking around with this instead of a paperback book?

eReaders like this haven’t taken off yet. Would the teens you know carry this, an iPod, and a cell phone around? Would they prefer an all in one device for all of their entertainment and communications needs? When today’s 13 year old gets to college how will he or she access text? Maybe it will be entirely presented in audio format? Or one file might include all possible versions (audio, print, video, etc.) so that all learning styles are met.

Stay Tuned – Awards and Lists

Monday, January 23 is the date for the press conference where the Michael L. Printz Award, among others, will be announced. Do you have ideas what it will be?

Also at the Midwinter Conference the selection committees will be completing their work in order to publish their annual lists. This includes Quick Picks for Young Adult Readers, Popular Paperbacks, Best Books, and Selected Audio Books.

Stay tuned on this blog for more information on the midwinter conference, awards, and lists.

Countdown Part II – Video Gaming Night

It’s going to be quite a night. Video games supplied by Game Crazy. Trading card games supplied by Upper Deck. Over 70 librarians ready to play and mingle. Any one who attends the gaming night will get a chance to play games, ask questions of people (including teens) who know about gaming, and find out what their peers are doing with games and gaming in the library.