While I didn't force my business cards on every person I came in contact with- I traded with a few select folks. I even attended a session on bragging/selling yourself- and couldn't even bring myself to give those in attendance the card with my blog on it. Sarah Dawn Fail. I used to be so good at talking to strangers.
Cliffs Notes version, with pictures:
Went to opening session. Watched our Board Member get an award. Steven D. Levitt (Freakonomics) spoke. Exhibits opened- mass chaos.
Went to a dinner at The Gage, hosted by Scholastic publishers. Networked with some other Illinois Children's Librarians.
Got up bright and early. Saw Spotlight on Gene Yang, with Thien Pham. Got their autographs (and got my copy of Saints signed!)
Wandered the exhibits, got my copy of Stitches signed by David Small, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. And finally bought Hugo and got it signed by Brian Selznick.
Went to Fearlessly Leading session (where I failed to sell myself, as mentioned earlier). Then went to my UWM-SOIS reunion.
Woke early again, went to session on Caldecott books for storytimes; Buzz Books featuring VIZ media (they're coming out with a Hello Kitty graphic novel series!) and then met the lovely Francesca Lia Block (Girl Goddess #9 is one of those books I could re-read forever).
More sessions, and then- oh, and then- the Newbery Caldecott Wilder Awards banquet! Clad in a cocktail dress and grey Chucks, I walked over to the Sheraton where it was being held. With a Calde-cocktail in hand, I accompanied my boss to the VIP reception where I got to hobnob (aka stare in awkward fangirl glory) with ALA Past Presidents, and folks like Jon Klassen (This is Not My Hat, Extra Yarn), Mac Barnett (Extra Yarn), David Small (One Cool Friend), Brian Selznick (Hugo, Wonderstruck), and Peter Brown (Creepy Carrots). Then got to talk to Brian Selznick about my friends' son, who is a huge fan. And laughed til I cried at Jon Klassen's Caldecott acceptance speech; same for Katherine Applegate's Newbery speech (One and Only Ivan). Then fell in love with Katherine Paterson, who received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award.
Woke early again, attended a session, got in line for a Jon Klassen signing- they had sold out of This is Not My Hat (sad buckets...). Got another book by him, and got it signed; then stood in line for Extra Yarn. Jon remembered me from the previous signing (a relief, since it was a mere 45 minutes earlier).
Attended a session where my friend Nick was quoted on a slide (we've known each other since the pre-librarian days- college and grad school together; realized we work a mere 20ish miles apart; didn't realize we were in the same session til the next day). Went back to hotel- had a burger and Bloody Mary and crashed for about 3 hours.
Woke early for the last time- took the shuttle to McCormick Place and captured the week in a picture.
Attended Closing Session with ALA President and Octavia Spencer, who has a middle-grade children's book coming out!
An amazing experience. Though they probably don't know it, I have mentors within the library field now. People I know I can contact for advice and such. I have so many ideas for my library now, and am overwhelmed with excitement/terror at implementing them. But first...sleep. Some much needed sleep.
Have a Happy 4th of July!!! Book reviews to resume soon!
*clearly I need formatting help