Print Friendly and PDF With Strings Attached: To Atlanta and back

Sunday, January 29, 2017

To Atlanta and back

Even though I'm retired I still attend ALA conferences.  The Midwinter Meeting used to be strictly business for the association and its units (divisions and round tables).  Now there are more program meetings, such as this year's Symposium on the Future of Libraries that spread across three days.  Major awards are announced -- the Newbery and Caldecott Medals and other children's awards as well as the Carnegie Medals for adult books.

View from hotel restaurant, Friday breakfast
ALAMW17 was held in Atlanta. I hadn't been there since ALAAC (annual conference) in 2002. I didn't get to see much of the city due to my schedule and my still-recovering foot.  My friend Pat was my roommate.  We had the same flights both ways which was convenient and companionable. Our hotel was adjacent to the convention center though it was a long (albeit indoor) walk from one to the other.

I'm a division representative to the Freedom to Read Foundation board of trustees. FTRF met all day Friday. I'm secretary of the Retired Members Round Table and convenor of its book club. Both met on Saturday morning. I had a couple of other short committee meetings, too.

There were social events -- a dinner with former fellow members of the ALA Executive Board, a dinner with RMRT, and the Monday Dinner Group (longtime friends). Each was at a different restaurant.

W. W. Norton (publisher) and Focus Films provided shuttle buses to a movie complex for an exclusive pre-release showing of The Zookeeper's Wife.  It is a true story of a Antonina and Jan Zabinska, proprietors of a zoo in Warsaw, who saved more than 300 Jews during the Holocaust.   The movie was followed by a Q&A with the author, Diane Ackerman. They provided bus transportation to a cinema multiplex.  The movie is very true to the book and I recommend it highly!  (General release is March 31.)  As a friend said, this was one of the coolest things we've ever done at an ALA conference.

I had a window of free time on Tuesday and toured the Jimmy Carter Presidential Museum. He was the first president elected in my independent adulthood. I remember the campaign and the issues--the energy crisis, the Camp David accord, the U.S. hostages in Tehran.  The museum recounts his life from his boyhood in Plains to the Naval Academy to politics.  The current president could learn a lot about being a president of and for the people from both Carters. And their post-presidential years have been filled with exemplary humanitarian outreach.

Jimmy got an award for reading more books than anyone else in his class.

Replica of the Oval Office.

A quilt made by a well-wisher.

I couldn't participate in the historic women's march on January 21, though many librarians did.  (My foot, again.)  A publisher had these feminist t-shirts and an accompanying book. (Cut off in the photoe.)  I'm also wearing my P.E.O. badge because January 21 is Founders' Day.

I said I wouldn't take too many books.  But it was too tempting -- hearing the authors speak (at an afternoon session, at a breakfast, and at a tea) and seeing so many forthcoming books on display in the exhibit hall.  There's a post office set up in the hall that makes it easy to send boxes back.

 Here's cookbook writer Raghavan Iyer.  His latest is about potatoes.
 Kathy Hogan Trocheck (aka Mary Kay Andrews).

In all I shipped nine boxes -- 104 pounds, 110 books.  Four boxes were waiting when I got home Tuesday evening. More boxes came Wednesday and the last one on Thursday. Most are ARCs (advance reader copies) but some are finished (already-published).  Lots of good reading ahead!

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