Registration and breakfast started at 8:30. I am an early riser even on my days off, so I had a good three and a half hours to read, catch up on news and blog before heading downstairs.
George Takei was the morning keynote, which pleased me but sent my conference buddy, Linda, into geek heaven. She had a Sulu doll, which she has been posing all over the place during her trip to NYC. I took a pic of him at the Abrams preview.
Takei has a graphic novel, They Called Us the Enemy, coming out in the spring that looks to be a must-purchase addition. He spoke eloquently and powerfully about his experience being rounded up and shipped out to an American internment camp with his family at age five. So much of what he said resonated with me that I couldn't keep up with my notes. I tweeted out an early quote, "Lessons of the past are so easily forgotten." Most of his life has been devoted to activism and he still seems optimistic. His mission is to raise awareness of the fallibility of America. It is great but also dark.
The next session featured two teachers from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. They spoke about the before and after of February 14, 2017. They spoke passionately about their admiration for their students. They made clear that these students were thoughtful activists before the shooting. They discussed their book, We Say #neveragain: reporting by the Parkland journalists.
After that emotional start to the day, it was time for breakout sessions. I didn't take pictures from my first session, Owning the Power of Primary Sources in Student Learning by Tom Bober but I took tons of notes.
My second session was Teaching Tolerance Stand Up! Empowering LGBTQ Youth. It's always nice to attend a session and be reminded of a resource that is free and sometimes forgotten, Teaching Tolerance.
Lunch was a nice buffet of salads and sandwich makings.
The afternoon sessions started with three librarians who started a library sustainability movement in New York State. That made me reflect on my own practice.
We we then entertained by Dan Zanes and Claudia Eliaza, who put on sensory-friendly performances for young people.
After the break was the final panel moderated by Daryl Grabarek: Read Woke: a Movement Takes Hold. The authors who were able to attend were Ibi Zoboi, Renee Watson and her co-author Ellen Hagen. Cecily Lewis, founder of the Read Woke movement also spoke.
Then there were free books and author signings followed by a cocktail party and more author signings!
Nina Crews talking about Seeing into Tomorrow. This is a biography and twelve of Richard Wright's haiku illustrated with beautiful photo collages.
Charles Waters talking about Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of race, mistakes and friendship that he co-wrote with Irene Latham and I reviewed here.
Duchess Harris talking about her biography of her grandmother,
Then, I had the opportunity to have an extended conversation with Melissa Falkowski and Eric Garner!
I was able to tag along with Monty Quehl from Abdo books to a cool little restaurant called Chez Moi where I got to talk to Duchess and some other librarians from around the country. I got home way too late and, of course, could not fall asleep. Then I slept very poorly, awakening frequently.
Looking forward to our half-day of sessions before I train into Manhattan to take son #3 out for lunch!