For What It's Worth

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

ALA16 Orlando highlights


We (Kevin & I) headed to ALA in Orlando a few weekends ago. We usually go to BEA but with it being in Chicago vs ALA being in my backyard this year – ALA won.

ALA was a very different experience than BEA. It is FAR more mellow and low key but there’s less variety when it comes to books/authors as is skews more children's, middle grade and YA. And not as many authors or celebrities attend.

For example – most writers groups are still represented at ALA – such as the Horror Writers Association or the Romance Writers Association - but they just have a few books/authors to showcase. At BEA, there is a full schedule of author signings running during the whole event. That wasn’t a huge deal for me but if you wanted more romance/horror/mystery etc., this probably isn’t the event for you.

BEA is better organized and has a greater number and variety of author signings and book drops. You can’t really plan in advance for ALA (unless you are going to the librarian conferences and meeting – but then you need to pay the full conference price for that. We paid $60 for general attendance to the floor) However, it’s so freaking laid back that you don’t need a plan. Most book drop lines were no more than 10-15 minute waits with few exceptions. Th publishers were very nice and were willing to discuss their catalog of books – which were all on display – and give you a copy of an ARC if you asked. Librarians were often given head of the line privileges which seemed completely fair to me since it’s their conference.

There weren’t many bloggers but I did finally get to meet one of my most favorite people ever – Brooke from Brooke Reports ( & her super nice finance, Tom) and I met Michelle from Book Briefs & Audris from YA Bookmark. Also met quite a few booksellers. Always the best part of these events!

All ARC’s were free but they also sold already released books. Usually $10 for hardcover and $5 for paperback. Most $$’s went for charity – either for libraries or the Orlando shooting victim fund.

I posted my book pics the other day and I’ll be spotlighting them over the next month or so but ALA had some really cool educational things and swag so I’ll give you a peek at that here.

So kind of the generic hype machine YA promo display. Caraval was one of the busiest book signings – the author was super nice!


These events always involve LOTS of walking ( & standing) so it’s nice to be able to able to get my #fitreader steps in with this handy convention guide


NASA was in attendance with talks running every hour or so – Kevin was excited. There was a lot of emphasis on Global Warming. We really enjoyed this area – Nice place to sit down and rest our feet and still get to see something fun.


Because ALA is all about libraries there were cool product showcases like…
3D printers. That hand came out of the printer! SO COOL


Library furniture


And fun posters:



And it’s me – so you know I had to squeeze some weird food in there somewhere lol

Nitrogen popcorn. You end up looking like a fire breathing dragon with smoke coming out your nose – but it tastes good!


And lastly – some fun swag!

T-shirt – What happens in storytime stays in storytime (bought that) Crooked Kingdom socks/tattoos/chapter book from Macmillan, and various buttons/bracelets. There was a lot of rainbow/diversity swag!


So that’s a wrap!

I’m probably more of a BEA girl – even with the chaos –  because I like meeting up with my blogger friends but this was a nice break.

P.S. June/July/summer is kicking my ass! So posting will be a little sporadic this month as I try to get back into some kind of reading rhythm again. But I’ll still be vising blogs so feel free to leave a link in the comments.


  1. I like that it's laid back but I think I'd prefer BEA as well. I wanna see authors! And I'm stupid jealous of those Crooked Kingdom socks. I WANTED.

    Was the nitrogen popcorn glad from NASA?! That is a funky treat.

    1. The socks are cool lol

      I actually don't care about autographed books or anything so that doesn't bother me but I missed all my blogger friends. ALA is kinda lonely that way.

      The popcorn wasn't NASA - I wish I could remember the vendor....but they had 3 flavors plus assorted toppings!

  2. I am so jealous! Looks like a great time :) I like the idea of more laid back. BEA is crazy!

    1. It sure is! This is nothing like BEA - both good and bad. I just missed seeign all my friends but I liked the laid back feel.

  3. Not bad for the price. I don't think I can do BEA anytime soon, this is more my flow

    1. As long as you like either mid-grade and YA (& hate crowds) then this is better.

  4. That nitrogen popcorn sounds fantastic! I think ALA would be fun to check out someday. I mean, I have an MS in Library Science, so all the librarian love is fun. I do like how more goes on at BEA though.


    1. yeah - there are trade offs. If you pay for the whole conference then there is a lot more to do and more access to authors but I did general admission. That was fine but BEA has way more going on. But it's crazier and stressful at times lol

      I like both for different reasons.

  5. Oh my goodness, as if BEA doesn't have me green with envy! Sounds like an amazing event, I love the swag and as for the thought of getting to meet some of your favourite bloggers .

    1. My favorite part is meeting people I've talked to online for years. And especially fellow book people. It's like you've found your tribe.

  6. It sounds so laid back and fun . Glad that you were able to get your miles in and sounds like a fun time. Gotta love the swag and food pics again :)

    1. It's SO much more laid back. It has it pros and cons but it was a lot of fun.

  7. Oh I do think that I would totally enjoy this one more than BEA. I mean, I would love to attend BEA, but laid back... oh yea, totally me. That 3D printer is totally cool and I want to try one (we have one at our library but I haven't had a reason to try). Oh that popcorn had to be fun, but it looks funky! LOL I'm also so jelly of your swag! LOVE that shirt and socks. Looks like you had lots of fun. Thanks for taking me virtually with you!

  8. Oh the laid back would be a definite bonus. BEA looks stressful to me. Glad yall had a good time even if it wasn't as extensive a lineup!

  9. Seems like this was a good experience although not as much "stuff" as BEA. I'm glad you got to meet some me that's *always* the best part.

  10. Cool swag! Love the t-shirt & the socks (perfect for #socksunday on Instagram). I probably would have been hanging with Kevin at the NASA thing...that's awesome!