GREAT ALSC Pre-Conference!

What an amazing day!  200 people attended the ALSC preconference Drawn to Delight: How Picture Books Work and Play Today.  Participants were treated to outstanding panels and presentations by children's book illustrators, editors and designers including :
  • Caldecott award winner Brian Selznick talking about learning to really see when looking at art and life around us;
  • Eric Carle Museum's Megan Lambert who discussed some great strategies for enhancing picture books in storytime (more on that in another post!);
  • Caldecott Medalist David Small, Patricia Gauch, Neal Porter, Caldecott honoree Laura Vaccaro Seegar, Tad Hills and Lee Wade talking about the relationships of editors and illustrators to the work of book creation;
  • Break-out sessions on digital art; whole book approach to reading; international approach to picture books; a visit with Rosemary Wells and a petting zoo for paint that encouraged participants to play with acrylics, gouache; pastels; watercolor and charcoal to test each medium for themselves; 
  • Break-out sessions with ten illustrators demonstrating their art techniques (Yuyi Morales; Tad Hills; Kadir Nelson; Brian Selznick; WIlliam Low; Melissa Sweet; Timothy Basil Ering; Laura Vaccaro Seeger; Javaka Steptoe and Dr. Pamela Harris Lawton);
  • an eloquent wrap-up by this year's Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney discussing the flow of text and story in his Lion and Mouse 
I don't think I'm alone is saying that I learned a ton today.  While it is always wonderful to see the rock stars of the children's book world, it is even more amazing when they stretch themselves to share insights; philosophy and the reasons behind how they they do what they do. Our dear late Kate McClelland  created the initial vision for what would have been her presidential year's preconference and the able committee she appointed (Wendy Lukeheart, Nell Coburn, Sharon Hancock, Kathy Isaacs and Luann Toth) brought the vision forth. A big thank you to Thom Barthelmuss, ALSC President, for stepping up to the plate to lead the division after Kate's untimely death and for his support of this great day.

When people ask what does ALA or ALSC do for anyone, it is days like today - beyond the hard work and advocacy on behalf of libraries, beyond the partnerships forged with organizations around the country; beyond the wonderful CE and leadership opportunities for colleagues - that show the very best of what ALSC can do!

Image: 'Reading Time'  http://www.flickr.com/photos/12692384@N00/255230682


  1. Wow I wish I had been there! That sounds really fabulous. I can't get to ALA until Monday so I am feeling sad about all I am missing. Thrilled that I will catch the last two days though! Thanks for posting about this.

  2. Don't be sad..much of the preconference content will be posted on the ALSC website.