03 July 2008

Anaheim ALA '08:: Days Four through the end

I truly had every intent on blogging at least twice a day while I was at the conference but the following got in my way:
  • Limited internet access.
    It came and went as it pleased without ever really asking for my input.

  • Flawed human energy.
    I started the event with great enthusiasm but then it dwindled as time went on. I was still going to programs, just not rushing to write stuff about it.

  • Wimpy arms.
    I carried my laptop around the first couple of days. Yeah... I learned not to do that.
So instead you get a quick run-down of the programs that were memorable enough, in no particular order.

The Pura Belpré Award reception was pretty fabulous. I was so moved when Yuyi Morales, the winning illustrator, began her speech by acknowledging the presence of her family and friends. She said, "You're all here," in this sublimely grateful and amazed tone of voice, and I instantly thought of my family. Y no les miento cuando les digo que empezé a chillar. I kept my sobs to a minimum and all, but I was an instant mess. Then the pachanga became the center stage for the ultimate weapon of mass emotion: a group of elementary school mariachis started singing everything from "De Colores" to "Es Demasiado Tarde." All they had to do was sing "Si Nos Dejan" or "Amor Eterno" and I would have had to flee like La Llorona. One little girl could barely hold up her violin but she was a star in her beautiful mariachi clothes. I was all kinds of nostalgic there.

The YALSA president's program was stupendous, and not because I was hooked up with Dr. Bernier by my boss. It really got me thinking about both physical and digital teen space-- something I had not really given that much thought to. All presenters had something very real to offer, both in content and charisma. It's hard to do a presentation that really keeps the audience's attention, let me tell ya.

That said, I have to admit that there were some programs I found really disappointing, and not necessarily because of substance. You have to sell it, you know? Most librarians are not used to being in a classroom setting for hours and they really want to take away something solid into their work space. Simply reading from a cheat sheet is just not good enough. So bring some flava into it!

More reflections and pictures later. Ta!