Yes, it’s conference time once again and although I know we’ll all be very busy, there are times when we want and need to escape from the conference craziness and just roam the city for a little bit on our own. For those of you who’ve attended ALA in New Orleans before, you probably have your own favorite haunts; for me, because I love bringing home artsy souvenirs, these three galleries have always been wonderful to poke around in.
If you have been reading the posts to YALSA, you know that NOLA treated us like visiting royalty. Even the few glitches turned out ot be blessings (ask anyone staying at the Marriott on Canal about the new elevator system). The meetings went smoothly; there was WAY too much food, and things ran like clockwork.
Make plans now to become active in YALSA and come to conference. I have been so pleased to have had the chance to meet colleagues, to talk to the leadership of this group, and to participate in the important discussions about our future.
Posted by Teri Lesesne
Posted by Beth Gallaway
I make it a point to get into twon in time to see the Booklist Forum at each ALA. Traditionally 8-10PM on Friday night, it is always a delight.
Mo Willems, former stand-up comic, opened with how to draw his famed pigeon: An “O” within an “O” for a head, a strategical placed pupil to indicate emotion), a sideways letter M for a beak, two lines for the neck and to deliniate a throat (sound effects optional), a “cirdrangal” (starts out as a circle with a triangular end) with a wing, stick legs and letter V’s for legs. “The faster you draw the more life it has,” said Willems, before congratulating us on our differently-styled brids and imploring us to “make people draw pigeons!”
Author Lisa Yee spoke about humiliation, headache and heartbreak in humor (Willems helpfully drew a large letter “H” to illustrate her alliteration) and talked about her everyday life that includes researching her books through spying, mostly on her children, blowing up peeps in the microwave (hint – put 2 in, stick a toothpick in each, and let the jousting begin!) and “dropping Mentos… into diet Coke to watch the explosions.” In her research to prove that guys can be sensitive (“Right? Right? Back me up, guys,” she asked of her fellow panelists – Lubar made a great show of laughing at this assertion) she gave us great and funny quotes from young readers. “Girls travel in wolf packs and just talk and talk and talk… about why unicorns have horns” Lisa’s son informed has informed her.
David Lubar was uproarious per usual, noting that now we’d all learned two lessons – don’t go on car rides with Mo and make sure Lisa doesn’t have Mentos when she’s drinking a Pepsi. He gave us some great reasons for writing humor:
- Mark Twain lived til he was 75 – Kafta, 42
- Angst is for whiners
- High school would have been bearable if the Pearl had been funny
Punctuated by two signature Lubar booklists (“Great Books Set in New Orleans” and “Edgiest Books”), David (who is not bitter at all about his books being virtually ignored by bestowers of YA lit awards, really) touched on the need for more humor in fiction for teens. He doesn’t need to write books about kids with alcoholic parents and in other terrible situations: “I don’t write books about those kids… I write FOR those kids.”
Jack Gantos delivered a more sober speech about the background of comedy in the history of literature – the Homeric tradition of engaging the reader by making him/her her smarter than the protagonist. This is Gantos’s way of thinking about the reader when he was writing. Comedy is based on a foundation of truth, and is doubly successful when the character reinforces the reader’s view of the character’s stupidity. He also discussed his theory of dramatic comedy.
The evening ended a little early, but it was a great program – so full they had to bring in more chairs.
Posted by Beth Gallaway
- Made handouts for presentation & meetings? check!
- Packed (including umbrella, sturdy shoes, and band aids)? check!
- Touched base with roommate? check!
- Boarding Pass printed? check!
- Hotel confirmed? check!
- Shuttle reservation made? check!
- harged cell phone? check!
- RSVP’d to events? check!
- Updated itinerary in Google Calendar? check!
Next: Shower. Sleep. Airport!
Gaming Events of Interest at ALA Annual in New Orleans:
Sunday June 25th, 1:30-3:30 YALSA Teen Gaming Interest Group
Hilton New Orleans, Riverside 2 Poydras St
Chequers Room, 3rd floor
The purpose of this discussion is to discuss issues relating to teens and gaming and to develop and disseminate best practices in collections, programming, and related topics in the field of gaming (including video, computer, internet, handheld, mobile, board, card, and miniatures) for young adults ages 12-18. Bring a program to share, a game recommendation, or your questions about starter collections or successful gaming events. Teens are VERY welcome to attend – we could really use their opinions, experience, and expertise to add to the discussion.
contact Beth Gallaway
(informationgoddess29 AT gmail DOT com or Kelly Czarnecki (kelly.queenofthejungle AT gmail DOT com for details.
Notes will also be posted on the YALSA blog, and online in our community at
Moderators: Beth Gallaway, Metrowest MA Regional Library System
Waltham MA & Kelly Czarnecki, ImaginOn, Charlotte, North Carolina.
Monday, June 26th, 1:30 to 3:30
LITA: Exploring the Technology of Gaming
Morial Convention Center, Room 286/287
This program will concentrate on the validity, opportunities and
adoption of the provision of adult and teen games as the emerging new
literacy and literature of the immediate and long term future. Gaming
technology represents a fundamental learning and information exchange
of the future and by adopting it, libraries have the opportunity to
get ahead of the curve in an important emerging component of society.
Speakers: Kevin Ferst, Teen Librarian, Jacksonville (Fla.) Public Library;
Matt Gullett, ImaginOn (Charlotte, NC);
Eli Neiburger, Ann Arbor (Mich.) District Library;
Beth Gallaway, Metrowest MA Regional Library System, Waltham (Mass.)
(Although not a YALSA program, it has a strong teen focus, and conflicts only with YALSA selection committee meetings, according to event planner.)
I hope there are still some folks out there planning to come to New Orleans and see all the work done to accommodate the onslaught of librarians. How better to support ALA and New Orleans than with our support of the conference? There are still hotel rooms available and flights, too. So, come and join us in the Big Easy.
Posted by Teri Lesesne