Lillian's Report from ALA MidWinter

March 1, 2019

A little over 9.000 librarians converged on Seattle for the 2019 American Library Association Midwinter Conference 25-29 January. My focus in attending is to learn about new titles, to meet and get to know authors and network with the major publishing houses. I want to understand the trends in contemporary literature to strengthen and improve my readers’ advisory skills so that I can suggest quality books for reading and discourse.

 

The focus of the conference was empowerment of women, underrepresented communities, and the importance of advocacy and social justice. Auditorium speakers included Melinda Gates, Rick Steves, CNN Anchor Isha Seshy, and Sociologist Erik Klinenberg. Charles Johnson held a signing for his new graphic novel series for children and rock Star Librarian Nancy Pearl signed the new paperback copy of her novel GEORGE AND LIZZIE.

 

Many of the panels focused on equity, inclusivity and eradicating bias in true public librarian fashion and there was a symposium of course on ‘the future of libraries’.

 

Midwinter highlights are the youth media awards, the Carnegie Award for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction and the Notable Book Awards aimed at selecting important quality fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

 

Publishing Houses I engaged with included HarperCollins, Penguin Random, Simon and Schuster, Workman, W.W, Norton, SOHO Press, Ingram and Macmillan.

 

This was quite likely the best ALA Midwinter in years. I was extremely impressed with the authors that presented this year who were all thoughtful, articulate and amazingly insightful.

I hope to bring many new ideas, authors, and literature to the Folio Family.

 

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