At this time of year I always think, How can Midwinter already be here? Of course it is a bit earlier than usual this year, but still, how can Midwinter already be here? I’m actually going to ALISE which means I’m leaving in less than a week. Oh my gosh.

That’s enough about how soon I’m leaving. There are lots of things that I’m looking forward to at Midwinter 2011 and I hope to see some YALSA Blog readers at various events, meetings, and so on. (By the way, don’t forget that you can keep up with YALSA at Midwinter even if you aren’t going to be there. Follow the hashtags #yalsa and #alamw11 on Twitter and make sure to check-out the recap on every day during Midwinter.)

As the YALSA Past President I’ll be spending time in a variety of meetings, including YALSA Board meetings. Don’t forget that YALSA’s Board meetings are open and that means you can attend. Read President Kim Patton’s recent post on what the Board has coming up for vote and discussion this Midwinter. Why not find a time to sit in for at least a little while to see how the association works? It is a great way to learn what’s going on and to get more involved.

Before I focus on some of the events and meetings at Midwinter that I’m looking forward to (outside of Board meetings that is), I have to mention one event that I’m unfortunately not going to see take place live. It’s something I’m definitely looking forward to seeing after the fact. I’m going to be on a plane on Tuesday morning, January 11, when the Today show is scheduled to have a segment on the Youth Media Awards, but when I get off that plane I’m going to make sure to check out the clip. YALSA Past President, Sarah Debraski, will be on the show to talk about the Awards and the winners. If you are in New York City you might want to cheer Sarah on outside of the Today show studios at Rockefeller Plaza. If not, make sure to check-out the segment either live or when it’s available on the Today show site. (We’ll be sure to link to it here on the blog.)

Here’s what I am looking forward to taking part in in real-time:
Friday, January 7

  • YALSA 201 from 4 to 5PM at the San Diego Convention Center Room 10. This is the second year that YALSA has held a 201 event and it’s a good way for those who are already involved in the association to find out how to get involved in more activities – from publishing to Board service.
  • YALSA Happy Hour at The The Old Spaghetti Factory, 275 Fifth Avenue, 5:00 to 6:30PM. This is always a great way to get started with networking and catching-up at Midwinter. It’s great fun to see colleagues that I haven’t seen since Annual and to catch up in an informal environment.
  • YALSA’s first ever Not So Silent Auction, 8 to 10PM at the San Diego Convention Center Room 7. This is going to be a really fun event and an excellent way to help raise funds for the Friends of YALSA. The items up for bid at the auction are quite impressive. I keep looking at the signup sheet and trying to figure out what I’m going to bid on. But, I can’t decide. You can start thinking about your own bids by visiting the Not So Silent Auction sign-up on the YALSA wiki.

Saturday, January 8

  • Saturday starts with Leadership Development for committee chairs (at 8AM) followed by All Committee meeting (at 10AM). Both of these are in the Manchester Grand Hyatt in Room E/F and are when the work of Midwinter really begins. Over the past few years the YALSA Board and Executive Committee have worked hard to make sure that Leadership Development at Midwinter Meeting and Annual Conference is useful to those attending. I think we’ve come up with an agenda that gives YALSA’s leaders the opportunity to learn how to be successful in member group work.
  • YALSA’s first ever, another first ever, Past Presidents’ Lecture takes place on Saturday, January 8, at the San Diego Convention Center in Room 8, from 4:00 to 5:30PM. The speaker is Mary K. Chelton and she titles her lecture “Roots and Branches: YA Beginnings and Horizons.” Looking toward both the past and the future, Chelton will discuss why this specialty started, current trends of note, and directions for the future. Where are we going (or should be going)? Mary K. Is the perfect speaker for this program and topic. I know she will be interesting and provocative. What more could you ask for?

Sunday, January 9

  • Fom 10:30 to Noon in Room 9 of the San Diego Convention Center is the Coffee with the Candidates. For the past couple of years YALSA has sponsored a Candidates’ Forum so that those on the election slate can talk about their qualifications for the position for which they are running, and members can ask questions. This year YALSA is taking a slightly different approach by hosting an informal gathering for learning about the candidates. This is an opportunitlearn gain insight about each of the candidates so you can make good decisions about the future of the association. It’s important not to miss.

Monday, January 10

  • The day starts pretty early with the Youth Media Awards Press Conference, from 7:45-9:15AM in the San Diego Convention Center Ballrooms A-D. At this event you’ll get to find out the winners of YALSA’s
    • twelfth annual Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature
    • twenty third Edwards Award for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature
    • fourteenth Alex Awards, honoring the top ten adult books with teen appeal
    • fourth annual Odyssey Award for excellence in audiobook production for youth
    • third annual Morris Award for the best book by a first time YA author
    • second annual YA Nonfiction Award
  • Do you have ideas about YALSA’s future? The Think Big Summit, from 10:30 to noon, in the San Diego Convention Center Room 10 is your chance to let them be heard. Join other YALSA members in a discussion about the future of the association. This Summit is a part of YALSA President Kim Patton’s Think Big initiative and it’s your chance to speak up as YALSA gets ready for its next strategic planning process.
  • The evening starts with the Joint Youth Division Membership Reception from 6:00 to 7:30PM in the San Diego Convention Center Room 2. This reception is always a good chance to check-in with friends and colleagues at the end of the Midwinter Meeting and start to unwind after a busy and hectic schedule.
  • The final YALSA event of Midwinter 2011 is the Morris & Nonfiction Award Program & Presentation from 7:30 to 10:00PM, in the San Diego Convention Center Room 24 A-C. Several authors will be on hand at the event:
    • Nonfiction finalist Ann Angel, author of Janis Joplin: Rise Up Singing
    • Nonfiction finalist Susan Campbell Bartoletti, author of They Called Themselves the KKK: The Birth of an American Terrorist Group
    • Nonfiction finalist Peter Robertshaw, author of Every Bone Tells a Story: Hominin Discoveries, Deductions, and Debates
    • Morris finalist Lish McBride, author of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
    • Morris finalist Barbara Stuber, author of Crossing the Tracks
    • Morris finalist Blythe Woolston, author of The Freak Observer

    It’s the perfect way to end a busy several days.

Is there something you are looking forward to at Midwinter? If so, let blog readers know by adding a comment to this post.

If you see me at Midwinter definitely come up and say “hello.” I always like meeting new people and re-acquainting myself with those that I haven’t seen in awhile. As a matter of fact I think all YALSA members like that. So, if you are new, wondering how best to get involved and meet people, just look for those people wearing YALSA ribbons and walk up and introduce yourself. I think you’ll be glad you did.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

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