In no particular order, here are the top five things I'm looking forward to at this year's conference:
- The sessions and workshops -- I have already gotten lots of enjoyment out of perusing the session and workshop offerings for the conference. So far I've scheduled myself to attend a handful of science programming sessions, an Every Child Ready to Read program, and a session on maximizing volunteer contributions. I am ready to learn a LOT, and I plan to bring tons of ideas back to my branch and my colleagues.
- Live blogging the conference on the ALSC Blog -- I'm going to be one of the folks live blogging the conference this year! Once or twice a day, I'll post some shorter pieces on the ALSC blog that mention highlights of the conference and the sessions I attend, etc. I love following live blog postings for conferences I can't attend, and I'm very excited to contribute to the live blogging this year.
- The Newbery/Caldecott Banquet and the Printz Reception -- I love the whole idea of award-winning books; I read tons of Newbery winners when I first got into chapter books, and those shiny medals really draw a lot of young readers to some great titles. I'll be attending the Newbery/Caldecott Banquet, where Jack Gantos and Chris Raschka will speak, as well as the Printz Reception, where the 2012 Printz Award and Honor winners will share some words of wisdom and humor. These events are like the Oscars of the conference for children's and YA librarians, and I am psyched to attend.
- Meeting authors -- Lots of authors are at the conference to promote their work, do signings, and participate in panels and sessions. I am most looking forward to meeting Daniel Handler (a.k.a. Lemony Snicket) and saying "hi" to Peter Brown, who did an author event at my library last September.
- The exhibit hall -- The exhibit hall at this conference is beyond crazy, folks. Crazy in a very, very good way. There are exhibits of publishers, library vendors, furniture folks, and everything you could possibly imagine as related to libraries. It's fun to get some of the advance reader copies (ARCs) of forthcoming books from publishers, but I also look forward to exploring some of the furniture and supply options that I could add in my branch. Also, I'm on the hunt for a really great animal puppet. Fingers crossed I'll be successful.
It's going to be a great conference, I can feel it! I hope you're looking forward to following along.