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"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


My 2016 ALA Annual Conference in Photos

This past weekend, I had the amazing privilege of attending the ALA Annual Conference in Orlando, FL, along with my fellow Baby Librarian and Book Blogger, Erin (Check her out at her blog: Uniquely Geeky Girl)

So I had a TON of fun!  Being with librarians, who love books so much, is always a blast. Also, everyone is so polite and nice and organized (there was many a time when people just started forming lines because that's what you do, LOL).

And while I went to a few panels, I haunted that Exhibit Hall, met some awesome authors, schmoozed some publishers, and collected all the books!  Like...ALL the books people.

I captured some highlights in the snapshots below, but I was such a bad documenter because I didn't capture half of what I did!  But please enjoy what I have, and if you ever have a chance to go to ALA, take advantage!  It is so much fun!!!!!

The entrance up to the Exhibit Hall, my home away from home for four days!

I am all ready to defeat Day 1!  
Tried to keep it casual, but still nice because, boy, was it hot out!

Yes, that is my haul from Friday, Day 1.
Now the Exhibit Hall was only open from 5:30PM to 7:00PM, and just for full weekend attendees.
I got 34 books in a hour and a half!  CRAZY!

Day 2 here I come!!!!!
So excited to experience more of everything on Saturday!

Waiting for the Jay Asher signing!  We all received an ARC of his latest book, What Light.
Super excited to read that one!

ALA had gender neutral bathrooms.  
To achieve this, they put a curtain around the urinals to offer privacy.
While not a perfect fix, I've always though urinals needed more privacy anyway!

I got to meet Jesse Andrews!  
Sadly, I left my physical copy of The Haters in my hotel room, but he was signing book plates instead!
I loved Me, Earl, and the Dying Girl, and I can't wait to dive into The Haters!

Day 2 Haul!!!  That's 55 books....I got a lot of books!

Erin and I are all ready for Day 3!
We were waiting for the YALSA YA Author Coffee Klatch to start!

Speaking of the event, these are the authors we got to meet!
In order from top down, left to right: Jonathan Friesen, Laurie Halse Anderson (QUEEN), Jenny Han, Peter Brown Hoffmeister, Laura Ruby, Jordan Sonnenblick, Tim Federle, Morgan Matson, and Jonathan Auxier (not pictured: Terry Farish and C.M. Surrisi).

Look at that AMAZING tattoo, Laura Ruby got to commemorate Bone Gap!
If you haven't read that book yet, you really need to.  It is the 2016 Michael L. Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Literature winner.

So this picture has a story to it: "When Elizabeth was 14 yrs old, she was recommended a book from the Children's Librarian at Hudson Library. This book was titled Speak

Elizabeth scoffed at the recommendation because she liked to read adult books, none of that "kid" stuff. But the librarian was insistent, "You will find yourself in this book." (Elizabeth had been having a hard time and through the weeks of visits over the summer, the librarian had come to know about it). Elizabeth took the book, and started reading it that night. 

She finished it in one sitting. 

That book was written by the woman pictured here: Laurie Halse Anderson. She is the reason I love books and believe in books and treasure books the way I do. Speak was given to me at a time when I needed it (this also influenced me immensely--thank you Ms. Mary!!). 

Speak changed my life, and Laurie has continued to change my life with each book she writes. Then I actually got to meet her, and it was amazing. 

I got to meet my hero, and I cried. I cried for that young Elizabeth who was kind of lost and I cried for the help a simple book gave me and I cried because I don't know where I would be now if that didn't happen. 

So thank you, thank you, thank you Laurie for all the books you write; I'm sure I'm not the only one who's life you've changed."

Then of course, she actually commented when I posted to Instagram!!

Uh, Day 3's haul...that's 100 books.  
So if you're counting, I'm currently at 189.....
I feel both extremely repulsed and extremely elated.  It is weird.

This is how I started Day 4. So. Very. Tired.
I don't even have a photo from my haul, but I believe it was closer to what Friday's was.
I haven't counted the total yet...I'm still tired.

So that was my first ever ALA experience.  It was a freaking blast, and one trip I will treasure forever!  Authors/librarians/book bloggers/readers are such awesome, amazing, generous people (at least in my experience), and being able to be surrounded by those people for four days was just too good!

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