Sunday, July 6, 2008

Reporting on the ALA conference

Even though I squirted my hands with Purel every five minutes and downed mega doses of Vitamin C, I still managed to catch a cold on the flight home from Anaheim. I’m very grateful that I didn’t get sick until after the ALA (American Library Association) Conference. I wouldn’t have wanted to miss a thing.

The AASL (American Association of School Librarians) President’s Program was one of the most thought- provoking sessions that I attended. Author/librarian Susan Patron kicked off an emotional discussion on intellectual freedom with co-panelists David Levithan, Catherine Beyers, and Cassandra Barnett. It was good to be reminded of the basics of intellectual freedom. Here are some good quotes from the seminar:
"Not every book is for every student."
"No one is forced to read any book in a collection."
"Books are meant to be found."
The most entertaining program I attended was ALSC’s Creating Readers Theatre at your Library with Top Quality Children’s Books. It turns out that authors Shannon Hale, Linda Sue Park, M.T. Anderson, and Eric Rohmann can act almost as well as they can write!

I had mixed feelings about the PLA President’s Program featuring Jamie Lee Curtis. I may have misunderstood, but I think Jamie Lee Curtis said that rap music is bad for children. (If so, she obviously hasn’t listened to Skee-Lo’s rendition of The Tale of Mr. Morton.) She won me over, though, when she read us her latest book, Big Words for Little People. She really is a good writer and a great performer.