Packing Tips for First Time ALA Attendees

I poached this from Gwendolyn Prellwitz via ALA Connect. Although it is geared to Spectrum Scholars these tips are helpful for anyone new to the ALA Annual Conference and also serve as a nice reminder for conference regulars. 

  • A print-out of your hotel confirmation and a print-out of any electronic ticketing for your air-fare. 
  • Easy access to your resume if you want to take advantage of ALA’s Career Services during your free time at conference.
  • Business cards - if you have them, great to share with speakers and vice versa. If you don’t have business cards already we suggest collecting cards from people you meet, taking good notes about how you want to follow-up, and sending prompt and carefully proof-read follow-up emails shortly after the conference to continue networking.
  • Professional / Comfortable business casual attire. Meeting rooms can be chilly so layers are encouraged.
  • Comfortable shoes.
  • Ear plugs if you are a light sleeper and like to use them.
  • Every hotel room comes with a hair dryer and iron/ironing board.
  • Healthy snacks (fruit, nuts, granola bars) to keep your energy high. You may inquire with the hotel concierge about places to shop nearby for food and any other necessities you’ve not got.
  • Cash for tips (bell man and housekeeping at the end of your stay) and emergencies. Also budget to pay your baggage fees and ground transit from the airport to the hotel.
  • A swimsuit if you like to swim. Workout clothes if you like to workout. Please visit the specific hotel website for information on what amenities are available in the hotel and local area.
  • Your camera if you have one. 
  • Sunscreen and/or hat.
  • Your laptop if you want to bring it to take notes during sessions.  Wi-Fi is available in the Convention Center and there may be other free hotspots in the area.
  • Reusable water bottle.
Awwwwww yeah

I bought my tickets to the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim and ordered a llama plushie online (which I will be customizing into something else ohoho secret). I’m going to see Chris Colfer this Saturday and hear him speak about the Land of Stories. I don’t know how these panel stuff work. Hopefully hopefully HOPEFULLY I’ll be able to talk to him in person and give him the plushie, but what if there’s no meet and greet? Can I just tell one of the panel organizers there that I have a present for Chris that I’d like for him to have? WHAT IF THEY DON’T LET ME THROUGH?



Chris’s Entrance at the ALA Annual Conference 2012

This is me signing copies of Zero Fade at the ALA (American Library Association) Annual Conference this past weekend. I got to meet a bunch of librarians and chat up my book, with the hope that they will pick it up for their libraries.

It was a whirlwind of talking to people, and I had a lot of fun. Since Zero Fade has a teenage narrator, I want it to reach younger readers. Being able to participate in the conference was a big deal for me, and made me feel like I was making progress. Also, it was plain ol’ inspiring to meet a lot of people who are inspired by libraries and working to keep them relevant, cool and contemporary (Truly spoken like the son of a librarian, right?).

Curbside Splendor’s table was clustered with other publishers who are distributed by Consortium, and I got to see my old friend/boss Johanna from Akashic Books. While interning for them in 2006, I read about Columbia College Chicago in the author bio in a Joe Meno novel. I remember thinking, “Being an artist in Chicago would be dope. When it’s grad school time, I’m gonna look into that school.” And now, look where I am!

My friend Norman Rose took the photo. Myles Karr did my tattoos. To my right is Curbside Splendor Editor Jacob S. Knabb.


The Simon & Schuster Education and Library team were invited to the ALA Annual Conference 2012!

Check out their snazzy guests from John Irving to Olivia.

See more pictures from ALA.

Still Time to Submit a Presentation Proposal for #alaac15

Still Time to Submit a Presentation Proposal for #alaac15

Want to present a session at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference?  Submit a Conversation Starter or Ignite Session proposal through March 1st 2015!

Go to the Conversation Starter and Ignite Session Submission Site

The one-hour Conversation Starters take place in a lecture, panel, or discussion format. Conversation Starter sessions will take place throughout the day on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.


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Nominate the next honoree for Achievement in Library Diversity Research!

Each year the Diversity Research Grant Advisory Committee seeks to recognize an individual for significant contributions to diversity research and outreach efforts in Library and Information Science by honoring them with an Achievement in Library Diversity Research. Achievement is defined as a body of work or a groundbreaking piece whose dissemination advances our understanding of or sparks new research in the areas of diversity. Entries are not limited to peer reviewed, scholarly publication. We welcome open access and other forms of published dissemination. Nominations are accepted year-round and an honoree will be selected from the pool of nominees received by March 15, 2016 with the award presented at the 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL. Self-nominations are welcome. 

More information and the short form are available at:  Please direct any questions to