This year, I am trying to increase my awareness of the many good things that happen, which are frequently overlooked by me. To help me, I am joining Ruth Ayers' Celebrate This Week.
Recently there has been so much happening that my blogging has been significantly impacted. However, there has also been a lot to celebrate.
Here is what I am celebrating:
1. ALA 2014 Annual Conference - From June 26th to June 30th, I attended the annual conference for the American Library Association, which was held in Las Vegas this year. Despite the setting (which is not my favorite location), I really enjoyed my time at the conference. After months of communicating with friends via facebook, twitter, and blog comments, the opportunity to meet up in person for meals or to walk around the exhibit hall and continue those conversations in person is truly wonderful. I usually get too little sleep, and have more than a few blisters on my feet, but I come away re-energized and eager to explore new challenges.
2. Schneider Family Book Award Celebration - Last year, I served as the Chair of the Schneider Family Book Award. In January, I had the honor to be seated in the auditorium as the Youth Media Awards were announced including the winners of the Schneider Family Book Award. Less than a week ago, I was further honored to be able to escort Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet to receive their award for A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin. Additionally, the celebratory lunch was another highlight of my time in Las Vegas. I love when Dr. Schneider calls and speaks directly to each of the winners sharing her thoughts about the books that were selected by the Jury. She also provides the Jury and Winners with predictions about where she believes the trends will be in publishing more stories featuring the disability experience.
3. Presenting at ALA with colleagues - Five years ago, I joined twitter. At that time, I never imagined how it would change my life for the better. Through this form of social media, I began conversations with teachers and librarians, which inspired new ideas and opportunities. As I began to meet twitter friends in person, new ways of collaborating became realities. This past week, I had the opportunity to present at ALA with Mary Ann Scheuer (Great Kid Books), Louise Capizzo (Nonfiction Detectives), and Cathy Potter (Nonfiction Detectives). Our topic - Common Core IRL: In Real Libraries. We pulled information from our Common Core IRL blog posts about using nonfiction in the classroom. The presentation went well and to read more about it click here.
4. Scholastic Book Fairs Reading Summit in Salt Lake City - A few days before ALA, I flew to Salt Lake City, Utah to present at one of Scholastic Book Fair's Reading Summits. My presentation was on the Power of the Book Talk. Salt Lake City was friendly and spending time with colleagues was very special. The enthusiasm and energy present among the attendees was wonderful. I have truly enjoyed my partnership with Scholastic Book Fairs over the past several years, and extremely thankful for the opportunities that they have provided to me.