Two weeks ago was ALA time again! This year I was super excited to have it taking place so close to my hometown, just an hour down the road. No plane ride needed, yay! :D (Can you tell I don't like flying much?)
The city was crazy as always, traffic, traffic, construction, and more traffic. With Pride running right alongside the conference and the morning's Supreme Court ruling to legalize gay marriage, the city itself just seemed alive with a positive, festive hum. It was actually way less crazy and crowded in the city than I expected it to be---I think I was inside the conference when most of the parade stuff was going on.
ALA itself was run a bit different this year. I'm not sure what the goal of some of the changes was, but as an exhibit-only badge holder, I couldn't help but feel a bit snubbed. First off, ALA always distributes an Aisle by Aisle guide to the exhibits. Publishers put fun coupons and ads in these that you can tear out to get a special giveaway, usually a featured book or bookbag. This year, exhibit-only folks weren't allowed to have these. This was also the first year exhibit-only peeps were kept out of opening night. Now I can kind of see what they are trying to do with that--letting the first night be exclusively for librarians and library staff (it is a librarian conference, after all!) but there has to be a better way to do to that. I saw tons of actual library staffers that were exhibit-only get turned away at the door. (Just a note: I did get in---in the rush of the doors opening, they couldn't have checked every badge, and I didn't realize until I was already in that they were stopping people with yellow exhibit badges. Felt so bad for those that did get turned away at the door, though!)
The Moscone center where it all took place is just massive. There was so much to see. And sooo much walking. One thing that I thought was odd (and this is my last gripe, I swear lol) was that for the first time, the publishers were split between the two huge halls. Normally, there is a sort of "publishers alley" where all the publisher are in one 5-6 aisle area. Having them split just made it exhausting and confusing! So much walking back and forth and having to perfectly coordinate to get to each signing. The two halls looked nearly identical, so I swear I kept forgetting which one I was in! My poor brain and feet--both just exhausted at the end of the day!
One of the things that I love about ALA is not only do I get to feed my need for seeing all the lovely new books coming out and hear about publisher faves for the upcoming season, but I get to be the library girl that I am outside of the blog. Being local, it was also cool to go to a library conference and finally see some of my own library's staffers in attendance! I was especially excited to be able to check out and sample the new library catalog system my library is shifting to next year. That change is going to be a bit scary so it was neat to get to play around with the demo! I'm also the mending wiz at my branch so of course I had to check out the latest book-beautifying supplies!
SO enough of my rambling---on to authors and books!
There were some awesome signings again this year! I feel bad that I didn't take more pics but I did get a few.
Amy Lukavics signing Daughters Unto Devils:
Had to show Amy from two angles--her tattoos are awesome! :D Van Gogh on one side, a raven and stars on the other!!
Erin Bow signing
The Scorpion Rules
Anna-Marie McLemore signing
The Weight of Feathers
Nova Ren Suma signing
The Walls Around Us
Virginia Boeker signing
The Witch Hunter
Jackaby & Beastly Bones
Some of my favorites not pictured were Marissa Meyer (I already had Fairest so I just had her sign my bag--see below), Kelley Armstrong (I think I might have been a little too star-struck to remember to get a pic lol,) Dan Santat, and April Tucholke (she is so adorable, she was drawing little slasher stick figures in each book and her and I just giggled the whole time because the guy in front of me didn't get it--also, see sob story below *sniffle* ).
Below is a fun little thing I started doing this time--got the idea from another attendee who happened to have this same bag! Only my faves got to sign the bag! So far there is Kelley Armstrong, David Levithan, Marissa Meyer, and William Ritter! :D
And finally, there's the books. I tried to be good and only grab what I really really wanted, but it still ended up being alot. *sigh* ♥-♥
The whole last pile is signed. There were some really cool titles that I hadn't even heard of before ALA and I am so excited for now, like The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch and Six-Gun Snow White! The new discoveries is what makes ALA so great!
And then there was this lovely thing! Just a sampler, but it's absolutely gorgeous and makes me so crazy excited for the finished book in October!! The illustrations are so incredible.
So, yea, on Saturday night during dinner, this happened:
Stupid thieves broke into my car and grabbed my friend's backpack and a couple of bags of books. *SOB* Funny thing is, we weren't in a bad neighborhood, and a pretty populated one at that, so it still just flabbergasts me that this happened. Not so funny thing is--I lost some good books---including that adorable signed-by-giggling-April Tucholke copy of Slasher Girls and Monster Boys and my covented copy of The Doldrums. And I'm sure those jerk thieves were just thrilled when they realized they'd stolen books. Grrr. :( So precious to readers like us, but I seriously doubt they saw any value in them at all. So so sad. And, yea...sad about my car, too. But BOOKS.
So that's it guys! Another ALA annual gone by! Despite all the weirdness (Oh did I mention the all-gender bathrooms?), and the few negative changes, and my poor car, it was a blast again and so fun to see and meet so many blog friends, publishers, library friends, and authors! Hope I can make it again next summer to ALA Orlando (in 90 degree-90% humidity- summer...honestly who picks these locations??) and Harry Potter World!