ALA

Tue 26 Jun 2007 - Filed under: Not a Journal., | Leave a Comment | Posted by: Gavin

Back from the ALA conference in DC which was great. (Also: Ah, Amtrak.)

Librarians are so damned engaged and passionate. They go to this huge shindig not only for the free books and parties, but also for the panels — which were quite formal in their set up and fascinating to see.

  • Red Spikes CoverIt was pointed out by star librarian David Wright that not a ton of libraries have subscriptions to The Believer, McSweeney’s, or indeed many new lit mags. We popped over to the McSweeney‘s/Bomb table soon afterward and there were librarians queueing up to subscribe. Thought = action, baby. (In a sentence that will only make sense to librarians and a few others, LCRW is available through SWETS, by the way.)
  • Exciting books spotted: an appropriately Huge stack of ARCs of Margo Lanagan’s collection, Red Spikes, which just gets better and better the more its read.
  • Other books of interest: The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy given to us by someone lovely at the New York Review of Books. (Everyone we have met from there has been lovely, not a coincedence, methinks.) Looks like a great summer read, a fun thing about two young women pottering around Europe in the ’50s. Should go great with a glass of Monkey Bay.
  • Also got a copy of Derrick Jensen’s Thought to Exist in the Wild: Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos which is full of black and white pictures and thoughtful text and which will be on our gift list to a couple of people
  • Thought to Exist in the Wild: Awakening from the Nightmare of Zoos CoverIf anyone would like to send us all the NYRB books, that too would be lovely.
  • Should you be wandering a book convention and not able to find any good books go find Theo Black and he will lead you.
  • Completely missed (due to not reading the program book, doh!) Scalzi and the VanderMeers and the whole sci-fi contingent.
  • Program book and exhibit book were in fact 2 separate heavy things. Hmm.
  • Stayed at the Watergate Inn and took spy photos. Was too lazy to carry the camera otherwise.
  • DC in June was more like DC in September so we had beautiful walks across the city with friends. (Now we are back in Northampton and someone has draped a hot, wet towel across the whole town, yuck.)
  • Baltimore Library has a great zine library. No, didn’t get there but did meet Miriam DesHarnias and Google says it’s true. They have a great handout for new zine librarians.
  • Witnessed the glory of the book cart drill teams. The Texans won again and we concurred that those librarians knew how to drill with carts.
  • Exotic BirdsChronicle Books have an absolutely great giveaway to go with their book on Florence Broadhurst. If you win this print you must lend it to us. Or at least send us an email syaing, Ha ha!
  • Abby Bass (from awesome Seattle bookshop Bailey/Coy) was one of many librarians who stopped and said hello. Since we are newish to the world of librarian events we are most happy when people lead us around. For which: thank you!

Surely there was more? Yes. But that’s more than enough for today.

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    1. heather whipple on June 26th, 2007 9:24 pm

      Heh, Swets. Excellent!

      The various permutations of unhelpful guides to ALA conference events have been the bane of librarian existence as long as I have been attending these things. For future reference, SF stuff tends to show up under the YALSA (young adult) and LITA (information technology) umbrellas.

      If you can get your hands or browser on a copy of Library Journal magazine (not affilated with ALA) a month or two before the event, they always have an article highlighting selected programs and authors on the schedule.
      http://libraryjournal.com/article/CA6446372.html

    2. Miriam DesHarnais on June 27th, 2007 11:24 am

      It was super-nice to meet y’all and Kelly rocked her panel discussion. There was a thing on NPR on The Dud Avocado but I missed out on getting a copy of it. Fortunately my library’s selectors rock and it’s already on order. Speaking of NYRB have you read the Jenny and the Cat Club books by Esther Averill? I adore them…

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