The American Library Association (ALA) holds two shows a year for librarians from all over the country. The first is ALA Midwinter, which is held during the early months of winter, and the second is ALA Annual, which is held during the summer. Both shows are important but represent different goals for the publishers and librarians who attend.
ALA Annual is where we get to celebrate the winners! Librarians, publishers, and other industry leaders attend breakfast and dinner ceremonies commemorating the achievements of the publishing year. Throughout the show, authors and illustrators from all over the country sign books, speak on panels, and meet librarians who love and support their work.
Last year was the first year little bee books exhibited at any trade show with the American Library Association. It was in Chicago, during the same weekend as the Super Bowl and the fifth largest snowstorm in Chicago history. With librarians stuck at home because of the weather, attendance dipped on the second day. You might understand why some called it a slow show!
This year in Boston you might be surprised to hear that there was mild winter weather. Attendance was up, and so were everyone’s spirits. It was a great show, and two little bee books contributors were in the spotlight for their titles with other houses.
Carole Boston Weatherford’s Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer won the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, and also received a Caldecott Honor and Sibert Honor. R. Gregory Christie received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor for The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore. We are so proud to have these two on the little bee books roster with the recently published Freedom in Congo Square.
As a new publisher, we only have more great shows to look forward to with the American Library Association. At ALA Annual in Orlando this June, we will have multiple author signings, as well as giveaways and presentations for local librarians. (Details will be posted on the little bee books website.) If you’re in the area, stop by and check out our booth!