I'm standing in the CyberCafe at CAL, trying to process all my sessions! Yesterday, Kris Chipps, Virginia Brace, Lori Romero, Pam Grover, donna geesaman, and I presented a full-day pre-conference workshop: "The Early Literacy Storytime: Putting It All Together." We took the backbone of the 4 Early Literacy Storytime classes we developed for ALD and turned them into a one-day show. It was very cool. We had a nice turnout with youth services staff from all over the state. Plus we stayed on schedule the whole day! (I was impressed--that never happens when I present solo...)
Today and tomorrow I'm back...no more presenting, I just get to sit and listen to other sessions all day!
I heard Mary Dempsey's keynote this morning--she's the Commissioner of the Chicago Public Libraries, which is doing some amazing stuff in terms of revitalizing neighborhoods, investing in local communities, and extending opportunities to all kids. They are also VERY big on early literacy and working hard to get library cards to all families. Very inspiring! If they can do it in Chicago, surely we can do it in Denver and our much smaller towns and cities?
I also went to "How Extreme Is Too Extreme? Pushing the Limits of Young Adult Literature." We discussed the book Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (I will add the link later, I promise) and the place it and other "edgy" YA lit has in our collections as public and school libraries. Read the book and see what YOU think.
I heard a school librarian talk about "Family Nights: Bringing Community Together" and I am hopeful about starting to work with schools and preschools to partner with them to offer family activity nights (or afternoons...or breakfasts! Why not?) to families who might not be in the "library habit."
Paul Wember from Wember, Inc did a slide show that toured us through 10 Colorado/Wyoming libraries with new/newer building projects. (He showed Castlewood both before and after the remodel and it was all I could do not to raise my hand and go, "Hey! I do storytime in that room every week!" :) ) These are beautiful libraries with lots of intriguing ideas about display space, furniture, shelving design, all that. I really, really loved the mobile furniture: in some of the newer libraries, everything, tables, chairs, public computers, desks, study carrels, everything is on wheels and can be scooted to wherever the patrons need them.
I tucked into the last fifteen minutes of Carol Edward's talk on what it's like to be on the Newbery Committee--she served last year. It was overwhelming--they easily read, carefully and critically, between 200-450 books (or more) in the year they are on the committee. Makes my excuses about not keeping up with my reading seem kinda puny!
OK--that's it--that's what I did today. It was fun and I'd love to hear from you if you were here! What did you see? If you did NOT come to CAL, why not? Let us know that, too.