Sunday, June 28, 2015

San Francisco ALA 2015, Day 1

ALA is the biggest conference of the year for librarians, and I am making the crazy attempt to cram four days into two.  My flight landed early and I took a LYFT to my hotel.  I find LYFT in CA is cheaper than cabs or Ubers. I arrived last night exhausted and hungry, but a comfy bed beckoned.

Before I even checked in at registration, I had to eat something other than the snack bag of animal crackers I ate 12 hours earlier. I saw a place across the street called Mel's Diner, so I decided to give it a try.  Fast, hot, and delicious, just what I needed. 

Added bonus Michael Jackson on the jukebox.

Then it was on to the Coffee Klatch, it like speed dating for authors and readers.  Authors would come to a table and promote their new book, it was awesome!  And tickets were not expensive.

I  met Suzanne Young, who promoted her first stand-alone title Here Ruby.
It's described as The Shining meets Hotel California.  I can't wait to read it.

Next up was the sassy and funny Gail Giles, whose new book Girls Like Us
won the Schneider Family Award.  

Tobin Anderson stopped by, and he has a new work of non-fiction coming out
Symphony for the City of the Dead.  It's a well-researched, readible WWI story.
 I'm excited!

Another author we saw was Jandi Nelson, whose new book I'll Give You The Sun
just won the Printz Award, I was very excited to meet her, and she was very real and charming. 
I can't wait to read this book, so glad it's on my to read list this summer.
Next I tore through the Exhibits like a madwoman, maniacally collecting readers guides, ARCs (Advanced Readers Copies), pens, ARCs, posters, and more ARCs.  Really, I mean setting me loose in there is just plain nutso.  I always say I'm not going to go nuts, and then, there they are...FREE BOOKS!!  Calling my name.  Unfortunately books are heavy, like, really damn heavy.  I thought my shoulders were going to fall off.  I shipped two boxes home (hint, use brown boxes and media mail shipping) and then my water bottle spilled in one of my bags, ruining all of my posters and readers guides,  So guess what I'm going to try and find tomorrow?

I took a break, bought some lunch (food is expensive here!), ran to my hotel room to dump out my ruined posters and readers guides, and I switched to my backpack, which I should have been using all along.  I then went up the street to Market and 4th and watched some of the Pride Parade.  I have never been to a Pride Parade before, but since SCOTUS ruled on Friday that all marriages are legal in all 50 states (about damn time!) I thought it would be fun to go and show support.  The crowds were huge and the mood was joyous and festive.  The parade was LONG, like hours long.  I was there closer to the end, but people were still having a great time.  I spied a lot of festive rainbow-clad librarians in the crowds.

I did have to leave the party to attend two more workshops, they were both great.  One was on using and creating maps with children's literature.  Another was about after school teen spaces.  It was a great way to end the day.

I did find this, I thought it was rather charming since this is a conference for tech and book nerds,
and there was this curious item in the conference center.  Who knew they still existed?
Luckily Wholefoods is only a couple of blocks away, and I had an ages old gift card that I brought with me, so I did some provisions shopping and used my new insulated grocery bag (yeah, they gave those away at the conference too!)  After my bubble bath, I had a nice quiet picnic in my hotel room watching Dirty Dancing on Netflix.  It was a very long, really fun first day.

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