I  was lucky enough to attend part of the annual American Library Association Conference this past month.

The conference was in Orlando this year, which is about an hour and a half from the city I work for. Our director decided that since it was so close that we would close the library for a day and send everyone who works for the library that wanted to go admission to the exhibits. The exhibit hall is huge, we were there for about five hours and, while we saw a lot, we didn’t see everything. It probably would have been possible to do the entire exhibit hall, but it would have been exhausting. One of my co-workers made it her mission to try to do everything, and she pretty much did, but I don’t have her energy level. I spent most of the day walking around with three co-workers I’m luck enough to be friends with, and who now work at a different branch in our system. It was great to catch up with them.

I’ve never been to an ALA conference before, last year I went to the Florida Library Association, also in Orlando, and while the exhibit hall there had been big the one at ALA was so much larger than I had expected. We tried to go through the exhibits in an orderly fashion, but there was so much to see that it didn’t last for too long. I saw that Julia Alvarez was going to be going a Meet the Author session and I had to meet her. I’ve been a huge fan of her writing since I read In the Time of the Butterflies for a class in college. They were giving out copies of her new children’s book Where Did They Go? She was so nice and I wasn’t sure what to say and was probably super awkward, but it was a really great experience to meet one of my favorite authors.

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The other very exciting part of the day was meeting Jeremy Whitley, the creator of the comic series Princeless which is one of my favorites. I managed to get a signed issue one! He was super nice, as were his wife and daughter. We ended up having a fun conversation with them about dying hair, one of my friends has bight orange hair and I have green. His daughter really liked my friend’s hair and his wife spent sometime talking to us about hair colors. The NASA booth was also a big highlight. They had a lot of really cool stuff and were very nice. I even managed to pick up a book about space archaeology. I haven’t read it yet, but it seems really interesting.

It was a really great day and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to attend.