ALA Annual Conference 2019


This was my second time attending the American Library Association Annual Conference – thank you day job for paying my way! I attended a lot of great panels, got a few books signed, and met friends old and new.

As per usual, there was a tidal wave of microaggressions and casual racism both directed toward me and that I overheard. But what can you really expect out of a conference that chose a slaveholder for its logo (not to mention picked “Back on the Chain Gang” by the Pretenders as the first song to play during the opening session).

Also, too many panels were all or mostly all (as in 1 POC) white or white passing. These aren’t new issues by any means, and it’s frustrating that ALA can’t seem to get it together. Individually, great work is happening, but overall there is a lot of problematic shit ALA and librarianship as a whole are hand-waving away.

Despite all that, I enjoyed much of my time at ALA (as a queer WOC, I’m used to compartmentalizing my experiences). It’ll be a while before I’m able to scrounge up the ridiculous sum of money it takes to go to ALA, but I’m glad I went this time. To sum up, here’s the list of everything I attended and the books I picked up at the conference.

Friday, June 21

Opening General Session
Featuring Jason Reynolds (4-5:30p).


Saturday, June 22

The (Other) F Word breakfast
With special guests Angie Manfredi, David Bowles, and Renée Watson (8-9:30a).

Muslims in Story: Expanding Multicultural Understanding through Children’s and Young Adult Literature
With Gauri Mangik and Sadaf Siddique (11a-12p).

Don’t Be Afraid of Horror
With Grady Hendrix, Clay McLeod Chapman, Scott Thomas, Rachel Moulton, Charles Soule (1-1:50p).

Meet the Authors: Angie Manfredi and Renée Watson (Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS)
Book signing (1:30-2:30p).

How Small Presses Improve Literary Representation
With Annie Harper, Julian Winters, C.B. Lee, and Jude Sierra (2-2:50p).

Agency, Consent, and Power in Science Fiction and Fantasy
With Sarah Gailey, Malka Older, John Scalzi, Martha Wells, and Dena Heilik (4-5p).


Sunday, June 23

YA Author Coffee Klatch
Forgot to write down the authors who came to my table, but they were all great (9-10a).

Meet the Authors: Adib Khorram (Penguin Young Readers)
Book signing (11a-12p).

Meet the Authors: Kat Cho (Penguin Young Readers)
Book signing (12-1p).

The Most Anticipated Young Adult Debut Authors of 2019
With Maika Moulite, Maritza Moulie, Hafzah Faizal, A.K. Small, and Julia Drake (2-2:50p).

Closing Equity Gaps in School Libraries: An Inquiry-based Approach
Forgot to write down the facilitators and they aren’t listed in the schedule for some reason (4-5p).


Monday, June 24

Author in Focus: James Baldwin, featuring Jason Reynolds and Ibi Zoboi
Moderated by Hannah Oliver Depp (10:30-11:30a).

Tough topics in YA: How the 2019 debuts are tackling the dark—but real—issues teens care about
With C.H. Armstrong, Nikki Barthelmess, James Brandon, Sarah J. Carlson, Deb Maroulis, Laura Sibson, Erin Stewart, and Alexandra Villasante (1-2p).

If We Build It, Will They Come? The Role of Technology in Library Redesign and Renovation
Forgot to write down the facilitators and they aren’t listed in the schedule for some reason (2:30-3:30p).

The quick and dirty guide to disability etiquette and understanding, building your awareness and library know-how, and getting all your awkward questions answered
Chancey Fleet, Carrie Banks, Shanna Hollich, Jay Brite, Ashley Biggs, Mike Marlin, Kaitlyn Hodges, Tina Deifallah, Simon Healey, Evelyn Keolian, and Valerie Lewis (4-5p).


Tuesday, June 25

Tour of the Jefferson Building
Library of Congress (9:30-10:30a).


Books acquired

Muslims in Story: Expanding Multicultural Understanding through Children’s and Young Adult Literature by Gauri Manglik, Sadaf Siddique

What It Takes by Jude Sierra

A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra

Not Your Backup by C.B. Lee

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey

The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi

The (Other) F Word: A Celebration of the Fat and Fierce by Angie Manfredi, Rachelle Abellar, Lily Anderson, Jes Baker, Shelby Bergen, David Bowles, Mason Deaver, Ady Del Valle, Evette Dionne, Corissa Enneking, Alex Gino, Jonathan P. Higgins, Sarah Hollowell, Samantha Irby, P. S. Kaguya, Jiji Knight, S. Qiouyi Lu, Hillary Monahan, Miguel M. Morales, Julie Murphy, Isabel Quintero, Adrianne Russell, Jana Schmieding, Amy Spalding, Laina Spencer, Mel Stringer, Bruce Sturgell, Virgie Tovar, Jess Walton, Renée Watson, Saucye West

How to Be Remy Cameron by Julian Winters

Infomocracy by Malka Older

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark

Darius the Great Is Not Okay by Adib Khorram

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho

You Can’t Touch My Hair: And Other Things I Still Have to Explain by Phoebe Robinson (bought at the National Museum of African American History)

Denmark Vesey’s Garden: Slavery ad Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy by Ethan Kytle and Blain Roberts (bought at the National Museum of African American History)

A Quick & Easy Guide to They/Them Pronouns by Archie Bongiovanni and Tristan Jimerson (bought at Busboys & Poets)



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