Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DC Bound: ALA 2010 Schedule


11:30am: Train to DC

3pm-5pm: Emerging Leaders Poster Session (WCC, Room 201). Snacks! Fun, smart people to chat up. Snacks!

5pm-7pm: YALSA Happy Hour, Old Dominion Brew House (1219 9th Street NW). Alternative: LITA Happy Hour, Renaissance Downtown Hotel Lobby Bar (999 Ninth Street NW).

7pm-10pm Grab some dinner, and finish reading for Alex Awards committee meeting.

10pm – 4am ALA Dance Party at the APEX (1415 22nd Street NW) $10.


10:30am-12noon YALSA All-Committee (WCC Room 207A/B). Coffee and snacks.

12pm-1:30pm LUNCH!

1:30pm-5:30pm Alex Award committee meeting, closed session.

5:30pm Dinner with Alex folks. Thai!

7:30pm-9:30pm Tweet Up, The Passenger (1021 7th Street NW).

Quiet evening in hotel, recovering from previous day's fun. Alternative: ALA Annual 2010 Facebook/Twitter After-Hours Social, RFD (810 7th Street NW).


7:30am Alexander Street Breakfast, Washington Marriott at Metro Center (Grand Ballroom, 775 12th Street NW). Yum!

9am-10am YA Coffee Klatch (WCC Room 207A/B)

10:30am-12pm Alex Award program with David Small (WCC, Room 150B). David Small!

12pm-1:30pm LUNCH!

1:30pm-5:30pm Alex Award committee meeting, closed session.

7:30pm-9pm NMRT Awards Reception, where former and fellow ELer, Library Scenester will be honored. Woo! Go, Erin.


8am-10am Alex Award committee meeting, closed session.

10am-1:30pm Exhibits; Lunch; Check out of hotel. (Staying with a local friend Monday night.)

1:30pm-3:30pm Committee on Library Advocacy (GRAND, Room Independence E)

5:30pm Battledecks (WCC, Room 103A). Alternative: Hang out with my DC friends.


11am: Library Advocacy Day!

Possible meetings with aides of NY elected officials in afternoon.

Return to NYC at some point.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You Are Invited By Anyone To Do Anything*

Yesterday, while still recovering from spending 8 hours at Save NYC Libraries' 24 Hour We Will Not Be Shushed Read-In, the YALSA Blog ran up behind me, yanked up my drawers and gave me a wedgie, insisting it only wanted to provoke me into articulating my feelings on panty-twisting.

Well, that's how it felt.

Playing advocate to a devil that doesn't need one, it asked, "Save Libraries?," and further inquired, "Should all libraries be saved?"

Here in NYC, we are in for the fight of our lives, as all three systems (Brooklyn Public Library, New York Public Library, and Queens Library) face debilitating cuts that if enacted would include layoffs of 1/3 of staff. Moreover, the libraries and media centers in schools, face similar fates. I'm not much in the mood to engage in a discussion on the future of libraries when the present is slipping away. We're bottom-runging Maslow's pyramid, and now is not the time for discussion. It is a time for action.

I am fortunate to have colleagues so committed to libraries, that they planned and organized the Read In, managing volunteers, readers, and the media, and staying on site for more than 24 hours. I stand an awe of them. The event attracted more than 1000 people, who filled out postcards, signed petitions, and just plain enjoyed the spectacle of people reading words and sharing stories. In the early morning hours, I read a selection of fiction, as well fairy and folk tales. I staffed the postcard table for a couple of hours, amazed that people had not heard about the cuts facing libraries.

On the teen librarian front, 17 of the 20 official young adult librarians at Queens Library have been given layoff notices that will take effect August 15, 2010 unless the budget is restored. Additionally, many generalist librarians who are responsible for providing teen services at communities libraries have received pink slips. Remaining staff that might not have the same skills or enthusiasm for teen services will be left to fill the gaps at libraries that will be open fewer hours and understaffed. Rinse, lather, repeat the same story for children's librarians. All libraries are worth being saved, if only for the youth that depend on them. Letting them close and hoping that something newer, better, more powerful opens in their absence, is a risk we shouldn't be ready to take.

To understand the importance of libraries, all you need to do is talk to the kids:

I do not mean to minimize the importance of libraries for adults, but I think the argument for saving all libraries can be made based on the services, sanctuary, and collections that libraries provide for young people. So, I hope all will join the effort to save libraries in anyway possible. Twibbon, postcard, 311 phone calls, e-mails to government officials, read-ins, protests, door chainings, outreach at bars and laundry mats. You are invited to do anything.

*This post powered by The Dismemberment Plan station on Pandora.

Monday, June 7, 2010

48 Hour Book Challenge: Done!

I read just over 16 of the 48 hours. I hope to post some reviews in the next few days but my allergies are hitting me hard today, so I'm going to sleep them away.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Countdown to 48 Hour Book Challenge

+ + + + + + + = Fun, fun, fun.

I read a lot of books. Good books, bad books, adult books, teen books. Books, books, books. I'm excited to participate in the 5th 48 Hour Book Challenge.

Last weekend I did a test run, challenging myself to read early and often in a 24-hour time period. When the start time rolled around, I settled in for a 2.5 hour nap. Over the next day, I read approximately 700 pages during nine dedicated reading hours. If I read 18 hours and 1400 pages for the official challenge, I'll be pleased. I like to sleep and nap, especially on weekends, and I plan on indulging my somniac tendencies.

This time, I've got some secret weapons: Girl Scout cookies!

I've also set time aside Saturday morning to make salads (apple-yogurt and cucumber-tomato) for snacks all weekend long. I will take one scheduled break, a walk to Park Slope to hang out with some friends' kitties that need tending.

On my book pile, but subject to my whims:

Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski
Peep Show by Joshua Braff
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher (On Junot Diaz's Summer Reading List!)
Elliot Allagash by Simon Rich
The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni
Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok
The Frozen Rabbi by Steve Stern

I don't expect to read them all, but I intend to follow the 50-page rule: if something's not moving me, it's toast. And maybe I'll crack open my ARC of The Passage by Justin Cronin.

I'm always looking for new friends on Goodreads. You can find me here.

I'll be reading from 9pm Friday to 9pm Sunday. Fingers crossed and pages dogearred, I'll resist sleep and read more than 18 hours.