Recipes for Success: Librarian Voices
ALA is BEA for Librarians, and why my back Loves NetGalley
Guest Post: Marlene Harris, Seattle Public Library and blogger at Reading Reality

Reading Reality

ALA Annual begins today! For those of you who may not know what the ALA (American Library Association) conference is all about, Marlene Harris, technical Services Manager at Seattle Public Library, has graciously returned to explain. Continue reading to find out more about the American Library Association’s annual conference, and how NetGalley saves Marlene’s back at conferences like this!

Recipes for Success aims to give NetGalley members helpful information, tools, and best practices to help facilitate your growth and effectiveness as professional readers. Check back often for tips and tricks from the insiders. 

ALA is BEA for Librarians, and why my back Loves NetGalley

When I try to explain what the ALA conference is to my non-librarian friends, I often use the shortcut that ALA is BEA for librarians. I’ve never been to BEA (insert sad face here) but if the pictures of the exhibit floor are accurate, there’s definitely a resemblance!
The big publishers do exhibit at the ALA conference, and they bring a lot of the same books. ALA and BEA are only about a month apart, after all! But the ALA conference will have a ton of other stuff. Like library security systems (I’ll actually be looking at those for my day job at The Seattle Public Library). And puppets for Children’s Librarians to do story times (still the coolest thing ever!) There are even bookmobiles in the conference floor, which I mentioned in my previous post for NetGalley’s Recipes for Success.

And yes, there will be authors signing their books.

How does NetGalley help me at conferences? It saves my back! Every publisher has books they want librarians to take away and read (yes, just like BEA). I review books for Reading Reality (my own blog), for Book Lovers Inc.,  for Library Journal and for The Seattle Public Library’s Shelf Talk blog (that’s part of my day job). There’s no greater book high than to tell someone about a terrific book and have them write back and say how much they loved it.

But carrying 20 books or more around a conference is painful! And expensive to ship home, too! With NetGalley I check the conference guides, like Library Journals’s ALA Galley and Signing Guide, in advance for the books that will be available, and request egalleys from the publishers. If I see something on the exhibit floor I ask if it’s on NetGalley. I try really hard to resist the impulse to pick up a print copy. They’re heavy. I confess, I make exceptions for author signings.

-Marlene Harris

Thanks again, Marlene! For all our librarian friends, whether you’re attending ALA Annual in-person or not, join the fun with our NetGalley at the Library newsletter, and Library Journal’s ALA Galley and Signing Guide.

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