Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking Back on #ala12

I write sitting in the Phoenix airport, waiting to catch my flight back to Missouri. I head back to the library tomorrow, and I'm fairly certain that with summer reading, programs, outreach, etc., it'll soon feel as though I was never away.

Except for all of the ideas, of course.

It is a bit difficult for my brain to as yet fully comprehend how much I learned at the 2012 ALA Annual Conference. I feel confident that over the coming weeks--as I reread my notes, talk with colleagues and friends, start putting small ideas into action--I'll get a sense for the true potential of all I've heard in Anaheim. Right now my plan is to think more about play and toys in the library (watch for details on a play initiative that's been in the works since way before ALA!), how accessible my collections are to young customers, more engaging book talks on new titles with child and teen readers, and science programming options. I think that should keep me busy for a bit, right?

I want to end my #ala12 posts by saying how inspiring I found not only all of my new librarian friends--you do some amazing things!--but each and every author I spoke with during the conference as well. These talented men and women value the written word and the worth of a story...that much should be obvious, given their line of work. But so many authors spoke strongly about the value of libraries in bringing words and stories to people. They talked about the power of libraries to help form young people into interesting, well-spoken, thoughtful, and dedicated citizens of humanity.

I would be lying if I said I didn't appreciate these words from such amazing, influential people. When Corey Whaley ended his Printz speech with an entreaty to #SaveALibrary, because they matter so much? Powerful. And I am so glad to see just how many folks share that sentiment.

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