ALA Midwinter Meeting and Exhibits Jan. 8 to 16

Sunday at ALA Midwinter 2016 in Boston #alamw16

Taking advantage of ALA Midwinter‘s being in Boston this year, I took the MBTA commuter rail in yesterday and attended a Deep Dive Session. (No scuba gear needed.) In the Trust and Opportunity: Transforming Libraries, Transforming Communities in Mid-Size Urban Settings workshop, librarians from two libraries – Springfield City Library and Hartford Public Library in Connecticut – talked about how they have been using the Harwood Institute for Public Innovation’s “turning outward” approach to foster community engagement.

Presenters Jean Canosa Albano (Springfield), Richard Frieder (Hartford), and Mary Beth Fournier, Deputy Director of ALA’s Public Programs, were all great speakers. The workshop was inspiring, and well worth the fast walk from South Station to the convention center in the rain that I needed to do to get there in time!

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I spent the afternoon walking through the enormous Exhibit Hall and checking out the Book Buzz Theatre, the PopTop Stage, and What’s Cooking to check out all the new books.

I had five ARCs (or galleys) for upcoming titles that I particularly wanted, but only got two of the five yesterday. I did snag ARCs of South Haven by Hirsh Sawhney (see below) and the new Jennifer Haigh novel, Heat & Light, set in Bakerton, Pennsylvania, coming out in May from HarperCollins!

The ones that got away:

However, I still brought home plenty to read…

Stack of ARCsI spent a fun portion of an hour at the Oxford University Press New Year’s Resolutions Unwrapped presentation on resources for libraries. I should have taken a picture of their delicious buffet refreshment table that they offered to attendees!

Sampled some delicious soup prepared by Amy Chaplin, author of At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen. I missed the very beginning when she said the name of the recipe, but I believe it was a vegan cauliflower and roasted garlic soup, very creamy, topped with toasted shitake mushroom pieces. Vegetarian chef Amy Chaplin seems like a fun person to cook with, and she has a lovely Australian accent. The cookbook is beautiful!

I planned to hear Connecticut resident Hirsh Sawhney, author of a forthcoming debut novel, South Haven (Akashic Books, 2016), speak at the Pop Top Stage, and was able to get an ARC of his book, which sounds really good!

Author Hirsh Sawhney at the podium
Author Hirsh Sawhney talking about his forthcoming book, South Haven.

Unexpected authors that I got to hear speak briefly as part of the Harlequin Book Buzz presentation of Winter and Spring 2016 titles were Robyn Carr and brand-new author, Meg Little Reilly.

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Robyn Carr has a new book coming out from Harlequin in April that starts a new series: What We Find.
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Meg Little Reilly’s first book is We Are Unprepared, a novel set in Vermont “about the next big storm, the one that changes our relationship to nature and each other…”

Ironically, I’m currently listening to The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up on audio. As I lugged my two tote bags to South Station full of galleys and other swag, I thought of how the author would roll her eyes at what she would see as incoming clutter. However, I would say it brings me joy!

two library-themed tote bagsI’ll be heading back into Boston tomorrow for the Massachusetts Book Awards Ceremony at the State House!

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