ALA Must Do’s


The only word to describe getting ready for ALA Las Vegas is overwhelming. I have read multiple blog posts with advice for first-timers, and am trying to take some of it to heart: don’t aim for too many programs, make sure to allot plenty of time to explore the exhibit hall, talk to people.

I have the luxury of this being a personal trip, so I have no agenda other than to show up to learn and do library things. Therein lies the problem – there are too many library things to learn and do. How do I narrow down the possibilities so neither a time turner nor TARDIS are required?

After several months of managing a spreadsheet (and more recently the online scheduler), I have come up with a few core things that must be done while at the conference.

The Must Do’s:

  • The “Using Meaningful Gamification to Motivate Library Users: A Hands-On Workshop” taught by Dr. Scott Nicholson. I participated in the Gamification in Libraries webinar offered by NYLA in March because I had no clue what gamification meant and thought it sounded interesting. My mind was mildly blown at all of the activities one can do in the name of gamification. Some of the ideas I have for Girl Scout activities fall into this realm.
  • LITA Open House. Another webinar I participated in focused on transmedia storytelling. I’m hoping to find people knowledgeable about it and its potential applications. I love the idea of creating programming that moves across multiple formats of media.
  • Stan Lee.
  • Tom Angleberger. One of the more voracious readers at my library is a huge Origami Yoda fan. He had a full-on fan girl meltdown when I told him Tom Angleberger was going to be at ALA.
  • Mayfair Games on the Graphic Novel/Gaming Stage. Settlers of Catan is an awesome game, and the one that gets played the most in our house. My 8-yr old cut her teeth on Catan Junior when she was 5, and has been obsessed with the series ever since.
  • Teaching With Comics on the Graphic Novel/Gaming Stage. It feels so subversive that comics can be used in the classroom. After attending the Comics, Education, and Libraries Conference in Rochester, NY last month, I want to learn more about how to incorporate comics into school curriculum.
  • “S.T.E.M.”-ulating Young Minds: Creating Science-Based Programming @ Your Library (Poster Session). I try to bring science into my Girl Scout meetings, and I want to do that with my library programming as well.
  • ALSC 101. I am the default children’s librarian where I work and am in need of advice or any help that can be offered.
  • Mo Willems. The pigeon is my children in two-dimensional orthnithological form. My mother would argue that I could be a shoe-in for pigeon as well. Don’t know where my kids got it from.
  • Tessa Dare. I never read a romance novel prior to picking up Tessa Dare’s book, Any Duchess Will Do. It was included in one of the many emails of reading suggestions that come through my inbox. I figured what the heck, gave it a shot, and was surprisingly entertained by the strong, intelligent, take-no-prisoners women. Her characters outweigh my issues with romance novel body part vernacular.
  • Comics That Make Kids Smarter on the Graphic Novel/Gaming Stage. Again with the comic books as an educational tool.
  • Cassandra Clare & Holly Black. Because Magnus Bane is the sexiest and snarkiest immortal warlock. Ever. And Spiderwick Chronicles was creepy in a fun way (I need to introduce them my daughter).
  • Ideas and Practices in STEAM Learning. I want to learn more about STEM/STEAM programming.
  • Graphic Novel Petting Zoo. Petting the glossy covers of graphic novels is lovely. Unless they’re matte. Petting their matte covers is also lovely.

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