Monday, June 25, 2007

ALA Day 2

I woke up way too early this morning and found--horror of horrors-bedhead! That's what I get for washing my hair the night before and falling asleep while it's still wet... I tamed it the best I could and met Kristin for a 7am-ish train.

Nancy Pearl knows so much about books! I liked hearing how she had written Book Crush, and after her talk I had a chance to use the microphone to ask her what her life was like while she read 1200+ books. She said that she eats popcorn and squash, has a "wash and wear husband" and a small apartment with no garden. So basically whatever other people do with their time, she doesn't; she just reads. (I might enjoy that life.)

Kristin and I made a mad dash to the exhibit hall to pick up the ARC of Shannon Hale's new book, Book of a Thousand Nights. (I want to stay up reading it but won't.)

Random House kindly hosted a preview of their fall children's books and gave us freebie bags that look like the cover to the Stargirl sequel, Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. The handles are very cool, blue rubber. I was quite taken with those handles.

Some friendly ladies on the escalator gave us a tip that the cafe across the street had good sandwiches at reasonable prices. They were right! And yummy smoothies too.

We heard Judy Blume speak this afternoon. She's an interesting speaker--I thought she would be all tough and spunky, which she was, but she's also emotional when talking about her life story. She teared up and reached for Kleenex a few times. I can't believe she is turning 70 in Feb! (I don't think she can either; she said she's still 12 inside.)

We spent more time at the exhibit hall this afternoon, where I especially enjoyed the AccuCut demo and seeing upcoming children's books. We found Peggy for the book cart drill team championships, sponsored by Demco and hosted by Mo Willems and Jon Sciezska--so amusing! Four teams competed, and the final (and winning) group dressed as Rosie the Riveter and used the slogan "Keep 'em Reading." They had some great swing dance music for their program.

On the shuttle to the Hilton Washington, I met Pat from NJ. On the way into the (packed!!!) Hilton reception area, she spotted Andrew Clements and introduced us! So I shook hands with Andrew Clements and told him I appreciated his books. Then we moved into a swarm of people, and I felt overwhelmed and grateful for having met Pat. Then I saw Lynn whom I'd seen at ALSC in Pittsburgh in Sept. '06 and ran into Lucy from Wisconsin whom I had met at Saturday's Books and Babies program. She introduced me to her friend Jane, who used to work with Dr. Eliza Dresang, who was my beloved FSU advisor whom I have never met (due to online learning). Jane promised to introduce me to Dr. Dresang if she spotted her.

But as it turned out, I found Dr. Dresang first in the hallway on my way to check the Metro schedule. She read my name tag and exclaimed, "Julie!" and I said I'd been waiting years to meet her! We chatted a couple minutes. How great to meet her in person--she is just as kind as I had imagined, and I felt like I had met her before.

The dinner was excellent--tender chicken in a creamy lemon sauce with risotto (I thought of Ruth Reichl) and asparagus. This after a green salad with a ginger dressing, mmm! Dessert was a melt-in-your mouth chocolate pyramid with cream and pistachios inside. Heavenly! And there were some berries and cream on the side. Tesa from Atlanta-Fulton laughed when she saw my delighted face after the first bite.

At the BWI table, I happened to be seated next to two women from Atlanta-Fulton, at least one of whom (Charmaine) had worked with Rachel Vilmar who is now with ESRL. On my other side was Linda from Berkeley, CA who is on the ALSC Board of Directors and attended her first ALA conference in the early 1970s and several years later was appointed to the Newbery/Caldecott committee and has been active with ALSC ever since. We had a nice conversation about waking up every morning and being glad to work as a children's librarian, where some days we do make a difference to some people.

In the line for the restroom, I met a woman from Missouri. I said I had a cousin in Moberley, and I felt dumb saying it because MO is such a big state--what's the chance she even knows where that town is? And she was quiet for a minute, so I figured she was trying to place the town. Instead, she was stunned: she is the director of the library in Moberley!

The acceptance speeches were great. I was so in awe. I was glad that the honorees were recognized also. Jennifer Holm was there for Penny From Heaven even though she just gave birth 2 weeks ago! I have a CD of the two acceptance speeches (David Wiesner and Susan Patron) that anyone who sees me is welcome to borrow, as long as they promise to return it!

I'm tired, and there's more to see and do tomorrow--so goodnight!