ALA Annual: The Windy City vs. Sin City

By Soraya Silverman-Montano

(photos from coolglobes.org/chicagomag.com)

(photos from coolglobes.org/chicagomag.com)

Wow, I can’t believe it’s September already. This year has flown by so fast! ALA 2013 is well over, and 2014 is right around the corner. This year, I had the amazing opportunity to attend Annual for the first time and it was such a great experience. The programs were very educational, the speakers were astounding, I made quite a few friends, and let’s not forget all of Chicago’s good eats. Next year ALA is coming to my home town, good ol’ Las Vegas, and I thought I’d compare my experience from this year to what you can expect in 2014!

Chicago: The Windy City- Highlights

First off, the Speaker Series this year consisted of a phenomenal line up of guest speakers. Steven D. Levitt, author of the Freakonomics series, was the opening keynote and cracked up the audience with an extraordinary story reminiscent of his books. Khaled Hosseini, bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, discussed his most recent, chart-topping novel, And the Mountains Echoed. And to conclude, the incredible Alice Walker presented, reading stories from two of her most recent books, The Cushion in the Road and The World Will Follow Joy. She is so elegant and inspiring; it was such an honor to see her present live.

(photo from theguardian.com)

(photo from theguardian.com)

The Exhibit Hall was mind-blowing! I happened to be in the area when they cut the opening ribbon and man, are librarians crazy about free swag. Not that I blame them! There were so many awesome giveaways: Free hardback books, advance reader copies, posters, calendars, flash drives, pencils, bookmarks, trinkets, tickets to blockbuster author signings and, my personal favorite, a Mo Willems Pigeon foam hand puppet. Continue reading

YALSA YouMedia Tour Planned for Annual 2013

by Portia Latalladi

Near the State Street entrance of the Harold Washington Library Center, you’ll find a special space where high school teens can express themselves in unique ways, utilizing the latest technology and gadgets. This successful hub of inspiration and innovation has garnered national attention and serves as a model to the wave of teen tech spaces that have begun to emerge everywhere. This space is the Chicago Public Library’s groundbreaking’ YouMedia’ center, and a visit there should be an item on everyone’s 2013 ALA Annual “bucket list.”

The dedicated staff and mentors of’ YouMedia lead teens in a range of workshops, from digital music production and digital video production to graphic design and podcasting, to’ give them the skills and resources to produce fabulous works of self-expression and creativity.

On Sunday, June 30th from 3:30 – 4:30 p.m., a member of YouMedia’s staff will conduct an overview and tour of the space; registration will be limited to the first twenty-five people who register.

 

 

 

Live Music in Chicago

by Colleen Seisser

Chicago is famous for it’s rich history of Blues music. ‘ However, like many urban areas today, there is some fantastic music being made in Chicago. ‘ On the right night, walking into any local bar or restaurant can be a treat for your ears. ‘ I got in touch with a local Chicago musician, Tim Seisser, and asked him for some recommendations for great venues for live music in Chicago. ‘ Tim has been playing bass all over the Chicagoland area for about ten years, so he knows a thing or two about the Chicago music scene. Here are some of his picks and why:

1. Reggie’s Music Joint

Reggie’s is located in the South Loop and has two venues (Reggie’s Rock Club: the bigger stage and Reggie’s Music joint: the restaurant/bar with live music), while also housing Record Breakers, a huge record store onsite. ‘ Parking is ample around Reggies, and it is easy access via public transportation. ‘ You never know what you are going to hear at Reggie’s–Rock, Punk, Rockabilly, Blues, Jazz–it is an establishment that is made for a music fan.

Tim says: Reggies is a great south loop location with amazing food, consistent good music, and a large variety of good beer on tap. ‘ Cover is usually pretty cheap.
Continue reading