Monday, July 4, 2016

The Best Kept Secret in Education Part 2

As you have previously read in Part 1, I attended the ALA Conference last week.  I don't think I specifically mentioned why I thought it was the best kept secret in education but if you read the post, I feel like it was self explanatory... 3 hours, 3 aisles, 42 new books for my classroom.  No brainer.

And that was only Sunday.

Monday was a whole new ball game folks.  

First off, my shoulders were KILLING me from the day prior.  All those bags weighed down with those books was no joke.  I had no idea how I was going to carry the new books today. (Yea, yea #firstworldproblems)

Secondly, I had little man with me and that was a gamble right there friends.  It could have gone either way.  Luckily the little ham bone did amazing and won over many very sweet people with his smile and manners.  

Now I was nervous to bring him for a variety of reasons but one of the main ones was that I didn't want to be this giant stroller in the aisle.  Then I remembered how many people were walking around with rolling suitcases and how large your load is with bags of books hanging off both sides of you and I immediately stopped feeling guilty.

That stroller was clutch y'all!  There was no way on God's green earth I could have carried all my new books with my shoulders the way they were.  Why yes, I am a wimp.  But seriously, I should have taken a picture of how red my shoulders still were the next day from the "strap rash" (I don't know if that's a thing...  It seems like a sketchy disease one gets...).

Any way, moving on!

Monday is different than the other two days in that it is shorter.  The conference was open from 9-2. There are fewer people as well, not by much but still smaller.  There were also fewer authors than on Sunday but still a very good amount!  We got to meet Jonathan Fenske who is the author of Barnacle is BORED and the illustrator of Maxi the Little Taxi, Henry Cole.  Both very nice men!

Definitely using this one with my 5th graders for #classroombookaday
Sunday night after the conference I saw on social media how many books, authors, and publishers I missed so I devised a game plan of who I wanted to see and where I needed to be for the next day.  So on Monday I got to visit at least half the conference room and my same three aisles from yesterday ;)

Same sort of goodness happens on Monday that happened on Sunday...  "Free book?"  "Want to meet this author?"  "Would your son like a book?"  Just as nice as nice could be.

What was different was even though they say the conference ends at 2, people really start closing up shop at 12.  When I say closing up I mean they really don't want to haul anything back so they just start giving it away.  For free.

Now not all publishers/vendors did this but the majority and definitely the big name ones did.  Here's the rub: they all do it at the same time so you need to figure out which vendor has the most goods you want and get in line.  And I do mean a line.  Some people even started getting in line around 11.  That was not going to work for us.  You should also be aware of their rules.  Some places only let you pick 3 books, some would let you get 5, some were as many as you could hold.  Know what you're getting in line for!  This was not an easy decision.  So many good books I wanted but you just didn't know what you might get...

Look at all those beautiful books!  I just want to add them all to our class library!
Around 11:58 (because I wasn't even sure we were going to make it to this point since lunch time was vastly approaching) I jumped eighth in line for a distribution company who had one side of their set-up for free and the other for super cheap!  It was surprisingly organized!  I went in with a number of other people (they do police how many can be in at one time) and grabbed what I wanted, paid for my goods and left.  What was a nice surprise was the diverse selection of books I got because it was a distributor and not a specific publishing company.

Told you that stroller was clutch!
Part 3 is all the advice I could possibly give you for a trip to the ALA Conference!