The reason why I fell off the grid for a week there was because I was at the American Library Association Conference in Chicago. And just to prove to you that it was all worth it, here's all the free stuff that I got! Well, I paid for one thing, but it was worth it.
ALA Swag falls into three categories: Bags, Books, and Other. Let's see the booty!
First up BAGS! Librarians love a good bag and with all of the books that we get, you need to carry several per day. The blue one was actually free with the conference admission. Free stuff already! The Scaredy Squirrel bag is my favorite, since you know that SS and I would be best friends if we ever left our respective houses. The Read with the Stars bags will actually be going away as gifts as will the Baker and Taylor cat bag. Those are a favorite at the conference and I swear some librarians collect them like baseball cards. Oh, I also picked up a cool Dork Diaries messenger bag, but that one has already found a permanent home with my friend Sarah, the school librarian.
Next, the BOOKS! That was pretty much the entire purpose of going. Well that and to learn more about modern librarianship and make connections, but the books are super exciting. I'm most stoked for The Dream Thieves, sequel to The Raven Boys; Cress the third in the Lunar Chronicles; Dangerous which is supposed to be wildly different from anything by Shannon Hale; and The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black. I've never read Holly Black before because gothic horror isn't my thing, but I saw her speak on an author panel and she was so sweet that I couldn't help but pick it up. Plus, there's The Fault in Our Stars on audio which I scored for free!
As a subset of the books category, there are signed books. Admittedly, I paid for Up! Tall! and High! by Ethan Long and had it signed for my nephew (but I'll review it first because I'm a good aunt like that), but Every Day in hardcover signed was free!! I stood in line for about 45 minutes and missed a session lead by Cory Doctorow, but I personally think it was worth it. I love Every Day and while David Levithan and I aren't best friends now (all I could manage to squeak out was Hello and Thank You!), it was still super exciting to meet him.
He signed it!!
Then there's other. You wouldn't believe the weird stuff that is given away. But this is all that I came away with-a shirt, magnet, two frisbees and a mini book cart!! No pens, no post it's (even though I entirely could have used those), no stickers-just the essentials. One of the frisbees will actually go to my nephew and the other I actually played with at the exhibit hall with the vendor, which was so fun! Plus I'm thinking about trying this method to make the shirt feel vintage so I'll let you know how that works out.
And you may wonder why I am so excited about a mini book cart. Well, because I am obsessed with book carts and really want one of my very on. The Center for Children's Books at U of I had a bright pink book cart and if I could have figured out a way to carry it up the narrow stair case from the basement and then up to my prison cell sized dorm room, it would be mine right now. So, a bright pink book cart is the dream and I'm almost there!
So, that's it. All of my booty from ALA and I didn't even try that hard! Imagine if I had planned a little better and been more bold while asking for galleys. Actually my hubby would have likely taken away my library card if I acted like that. But now I know what I'm in for next time!