Tag Archives: conference

Middle Grade ARCs I Picked Up At PLA

29 Mar

PLA Middle Grade ARCs to Read.png

I talked yesterday about the awesome experience I had at PLA this past weekend. What I didn’t get to finish talking about is that I picked up so many great ARCs that I’m having a hard time deciding what to start reading first.

If you’re unfamiliar with a large library conference or BookExpo America, let me try and explain it to you. Imagine a large convention center room filled with exhibits – furniture, supply companies and so much more. These exhibits also include many publishing houses with full displays set up promoting previously published titles and new titles recently published. The most exciting part is that they often have ARCs (advanced reader copies) for you to pick up. These are titles that are often slated to be published over the next year and depending on what book and what publisher it is you, the book may or may not be finished, may have significant editing still need to done, illustrations may not be placed in the book yet, etc. Basically, the book has been pre-published to promote it to librarians, booksellers and bloggers in the hopes of getting some strong sales.

Imagine an exhibit floor filled with books that you can just pick up for free! It’s overwhelming and amazing and so much fun! A few points to remember about ARCs:

  1. Make sure you talk to the reps that are working these booths – the conference days are long and people can get pushy. I often ask, “What are you most excited about coming out?” This often gets you chatting about books you like and they are often more willing to go search for a title you’re looking for or are willing to send you something from the office if it’s not available at the conference.
  2. ARCs cannot be sold, every once in a while you’ll see them for “re-sale” which is illegal (and says so on every ARC I’ve ever received). Don’t do it – it’s not fair to the the people who work so hard on the finished copy. Just buy a new copy and support your favorite authors and illustrators.
  3. Some publishers will give you strict instructions on how, what, and when you can review the title. Double-check the book’s first few pages or the publisher’s website for more information.
  4. Make sure you use the ARCs for good – don’t pick up every title available. Try to pick up the titles you’ll actually read and find great ways to promote the book – social media, talk it up at work and make sure your organization or you personally buy a copy when it comes out.

These are the middle grade titles I picked up at PLA (and they all look so good!)

  1. The Adventures of a Girl Called Bicycle by Christina Uss (2018, no specific date)
  2. Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed (May 8, 2018)
  3. The Ambrose Deception by Emily Ecton (February 13, 2018)
  4. Bob by Wendy Mass and Rebecca Stead (May 1, 2018)
  5. The Boy, The Bird and The Coffin Maker by Matilda Woods (May 1, 2018)
  6. Breakout by Kate Messner (June 5, 2018)
  7. Charlie & Frog by Karen Kane (April 10, 2018)
  8. The Frame-Up by Wendy McLeod MacKnight (June 5, 2018)
  9. Ivy Aberdeen’s Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake (March 6, 2018)
  10. The Jigsaw Jungle by Kristin Levine (June 19, 2018)
  11. Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya (August 21, 2018)
  12. A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers (March 13, 2018)
  13. So Done by Paula Chase (August 14, 2018)
  14. You Go First by Erin Entrada Kelly (April 10, 2018)

PLA Recap

28 Mar

pla 2018 conference logo final@ RGB
It was an interesting PLA to say the least. It started with Philadelphia’s fourth nor’ easter in three weeks on Wednesday, which led to me watching the opening session with Sally Yates online from home as the library was closed and we ended up with at least eight inches of snow.

I have to say, PLA did an amazing job of providing online access to the conference for the many people who ended up not being able to fly in to Philly due to the weather.

Thursday started for me at 4:30am when I woke up to get ready to head to the city for the children’s author breakfast which started at 7am. Breakfast was great as we got to hear from Erin Entrada Kelly (2018 Newbery Award Winner), Rebecca Stead and Wendy Mass co-authors of Bob, Greg Pizzoli, author of the new title This Story Is for You (which is absolutely awesome), and sadly Andrea Davis Pinkney couldn’t get to Philly because of the weather, but we did get to hear a video interview and her publisher read a great letter she had written for the occasion.

The majority of the rest of my time was spent in programs – I specifically went to a number of programs about staff training as I’m looking for new ways to ensure my staff feels empowered to do the best job they can do at work. I’m excited to implement some of the ideas I learned about, especially in regards to technology competencies and public library philosophy that reaches past day-to-day operations and really teaches staff about the history of public libraries and why our role is so important in the community.

I also got a chance to hit up the exhibit hall and grabbed some really great ARCs (that I’ll be sharing in a post tomorrow) and I volunteered at the Pennsylvania Library Association booth for a little bit as well.

My favorite parts of the conference were the First-Time Directors program where there was some great insight from new directors and a feeling of camaraderie in the room as people asked for opinions on issues they were dealing with as new directors. I also really enjoyed the Big Ideas session with Steve Pemberton and can’t wait to get my hands on his memoir as he had a really tough childhood and was saved by books and the library.

And the end of the weekend, I had a really great conference and learned valuable information that I plan on implementing at work. It was also a lot of fun hanging out with librarians from around the country and gaining perspective about the future of public libraries.

Learning at the PLA Conference

22 Mar

pla 2018 conference logo final@ RGB

I’m so excited to be spending the next few days at the PLA conference which will be held in my own backyard – Philadelphia! This conference is held every other year and I got a chance to go in 2016 to Denver, which was awesome, because I got to visit my sister for a few days before the conference. This year the hardest part will be commuting into the city, but I’m excited to spend some time with librarians from across the country and to discuss some current trends and learn some new ideas.

If you see me wandering through the convention center, please stop me and say “hi!”


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