by Alexis Patterson,
Manager of Strategic Events & Special Projects
We are back from the 2018 American Library Association Annual Conference! It was a warm and wonderful four days filled with a lot of great moments and we were thrilled to connect with librarians and audiobook lovers. But if you were unable join us—or even if you were there and want to reminisce about all of the bookish fun you had, here are a few of our favorite moments from the show:
MICHELLE OBAMA ON BECOMING
Former First Lady Michelle Obama was the headlining keynote speaker at the Opening Session. In conversation with Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, Obama spoke about her family, the importance of books and reading, and hinted at what we’ll hear in her upcoming memoir, Becoming. Librarians who stopped by our audio booth were excited to learn that she will be narrating her audiobook.
Amazing authors including Christina Dalcher of Vox, Jasmine Guillory of The Proposal, and Tae Keller of The Science of Unbreakable Things stopped by our booth and each signed a copy of their audiobook. Look for future giveaways soon! (Are you signed up for our newsletters?)
We loved the opportunity to take part in two well-attended panels that shared the magic of audio with librarians and featured narrator extraordinaire Scott Brick:
- Literary Tastes Author Panel
On Sunday, June 24, the Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) hosted its annual author panel, Literary Tastes featuring authors and narrators that have been named on RUSA’s annual Best of Lists. We had the pleasure of having one of our narrators, Scott Brick, speak about the unique process of recording an audiobook. 2018 Caldecott Honoree, Thi Bui, another panelist and illustrator of A Different Pond, as well as author of The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir, named to the 2018 Notable Books List for nonfiction, told Scott during the panel that she loves to listen to his audiobooks while she illustrates her books.
- Literary Tastes Author Panel
- The Art of Audiobook Narration
Also on Sunday, we were excited to have narrator Scott Brick and PRH Audio producer Dan Zitt join Library Consultant Mary Burkey and Technical Metadata Manager of NoveList Renee Young on this panel. It was an informative and moving panel celebrating audiobooks, their amazing growth, and why librarians should not be afraid of “listeners’ advisory.” (Hint: it’s just like readers’ advisory with some added terms and narrator knowledge. NoveList has great advice here.) Panelists spoke about how audiobooks are the fastest-growing segment of publishing and gave behind-the-scenes secrets on the art of transforming the printed page into an extraordinary audio. You can view the slides from the presentation here.
— Books on Tape (BOT) (@BOTLibrary) June 24, 2018
JACQUELINE WOODSON RECEIVES THE FIRST
CHILDREN’S LITERATURE LEGACY AWARD
Big news was delivered during this year’s Newbery Banquet. The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Committee voted to rename the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award to the Children’s Literature Legacy Award, explaining that the early-to-mid 20th century author’s works included “expressions of stereotypical attitudes inconsistent with ALSC’s core values.” Beloved author Jacqueline Woodson was the first to accept this newly-named award. Librarians were excited to hear that Jacqueline and her daughter Toshi Widoff-Woodson are both contributing narrators on her new middle grade audiobook Harbor Me, on sale August 28, 2018.
We wrapped up our ALA trip at the 2018 Odyssey Awards Ceremony where Listening Library accepted two 2018 Odyssey Honor Audiobooks for The Book of Dust: La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman, read by Michael Sheen, and A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig, read by Stephen Fry.
All in all, ALA was a great success! We can’t thank librarians enough for sharing the creative ways they use audio to further promote the enjoyment of stories in communities around the country. We’re already looking forward to ALA 2019!