Bonnie and I have attended two full days of the American Library Association in Chicago and are heading back in again today. It has been good so far.
My highlight on Saturday was being a part of a focus group for Booklist, a review journal aimed at public libraries. We were asked questions about how we used the journal in collection development and what we would change in the publication to aid our work. These questions led to a broader discussion about our libraries. I enjoyed the meeting greatly.
On Sunday, I attended several author events. During the day, I heard both Temple Grandin (Animals in Translation and The Autistic Brain) and Ann Patchett (Bel Canto and State of Wonder) speak in the auditorium and Timothy Egan (The Worst Hard Time and Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher) at the Booklist booth on the exhibitions floor. In the evening, Bonnie and I attended the Carnegie Awards presentation, where we heard Timothy Egan, David Quammen, and Richard Ford live and saw videos from Junot Diaz, Louise Erdrich, and Jill Lepore. Egan and Ford won the prizes.
My to-read list is growing longer every day (I came home with a bag of free books from the awards ceremony), and I am looking forward to applying some new ideas at work, especially concerning readers' advisory. I have also seen many friends at sessions and along the hallways, as well as at last night's ceremony. I am feeling recharged.
We are heading in today via train for a third day. More reports later.