Las Vegas was... hot. I am not a fan of Vegas by any stretch of the imagination so I can't say that I loved annual to pieces this year but there were definitely aspects that thrilled me. My hotel was always nicely chilled and I had a great roommate AND we were by the convention center and the monorail which definitely made things easier in terms of getting around. I will admit that I was a slight curmudgeon on this Annual experience though in general. Vegas just is not for me.
|I'm up there!!! My name I mean.|
I had the chance to meet several friends I have only known in an online capacity, including my good friend Kel, who I have known since I started on the internet way back in high school or at least early college. I have known her a long time needless to say and it was SO AMAZING to get the chance to meet her in person. I also had the chance to meet several librarian friends I know online which is also wonderful. That made the heat bearable in some small way.
Another great highlight was the Printz celebration on Friday night! YALSA tried a new format this year and while I admit to being a bit skeptical upon hearing about the new format, I did embrace it and enjoyed every minute of it. Marcus Sedgwick started the evening off with his Printz medal speech for Midwinterblood and it was wonderful. (I know, I'm biased.) I thought he hit the perfect combination of being gracious, funny, enjoyable and just fun to listen to. My committee had the pleasure of having dinner with him earlier that evening and let me just say, he is a gracious writer who has lots of sly wit and a genuine personality which came across in all his interactions. Anyway, that shined through in his speech I thought. I hope others enjoyed it as much as I did. Following his speech was a Q & A with the rest of the authors (Rainbow Rowell, Clare Vanderpool, Sally Gardner and Susann Cokal).
|Vanderpool, Rowell, and Sedgwick|
I am not a reader who needs signatures or pictures with authors in general. For me, the text of the book itself is what keeps me enthralled BUT I have
|ME AND RAINBOW ROWELL!|
Otherwise, Annual went by very quickly. I spent some time in the exhibits hall on Saturday and picked up a few galleys (as seen below) and talked with some publishing friends. Since Annual was paid for by me I kinda took it easy honestly. The heat really tired me out easily so I went to my hotel and napped and relaxed a bit between various events. I just didn't feel like running around like crazy like I normally do during Annual.
|Galleys I brought home|
So yes, there you go! ALA 2014 is finished but despite my initial doubts and well, grumpiness about having to be in the desert during summer, I managed to find things that made it all worth it. (And fortunately, Vegas does not mess around with its A/C which helped immensely!).
If you've ever thought about running for the Printz or really any awards committee, I highly recommend it as it is an amazing experience you will never forget. And there are definitely some fun perks once all the hard work is done.