IBPA Report from the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference 2012
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
According to Publishers Weekly – “It was an upbeat annual conference for the American Library Association in Anaheim, but attendance figures barely squeaked past that of last year’s show in New Orleans. As the show closed, ALA officials reported that 20,134 attended the 2012 meeting in Anaheim, roughly flat with the 20,125 at the 2011 show. The number of paid attendees dipped, however, to 11,056 from 11,988 in 2011, while the number of exhibitors ticked up slightly in to 5,388 from 5,274 last year.”
From left to right: Lisa Krebs, Terry Nathan, Patti Grasso (IBPA staff) at ALA 2012
According to Library Journal – “Hot button topics going into this year’s American Library Association (ALA) conference in Anaheim, CA, included what the Georgia State ereserves decision means for the future of fair use, what librarians will use to replace the now-defunct Meebo for virtual reference, and of course, whither ebooks for libraries?”
This year the show was in our back yard, which is great if you forget your business cards or a shoe – which we didn’t – and, you could run into a librarian from your former high school – which we did! That was fun.
IBPA has been attending ALA for 20+ years now, so we usually land a pretty good location on the show floor. This year we were in the perfect spot between Scholastic and Penguin Books, so the traffic was steady and constant. The mood for the show was decidedly “excited and interested” and the IBPA booth was full of visitors. The exception was during well-attended classes after which we would get the overflow groups, eager to get back out onto the show floor. This is to be expected, as the ALA show is the librarians’ annual conference, which includes their own seminars, author breakfasts, and other programs.
And, we certainly enjoyed representing our members’ titles this year.
Here are some links to a few articles about specific topics of interest and happenings at the show:
PW Daily – ALA 2012 Attendance Roughly Flat with 2011 – http://bit.ly/KYuZHt
PW Daily – Author Rebecca MacKinnon Kicks Off ALA With Talk On Digital Privacy – http://bit.ly/OjqZ4j
PW Daily – More Religion Publishers Join Exhibitors at ALA – http://bit.ly/KYuZHt
PW Daily – As ALA Opens, Pew Issues Report On Libraries and E-Books – http://bit.ly/KYv6CW
Shelf Awareness – ALA Celebration in Disneyland – http://bit.ly/MSmTwQ
Library Journal – News from ALA Annual 2012 – http://bit.ly/LvAWs7
The nice thing about library shows is that the pace is pretty even and librarians are, well… nice! They are also interesting and intelligent, informed and funny and will quite often, surprise you. We met with so many librarians who were happy to see the IBPA booth and reminded us that, “Independent publishers have the most unique product.”
Booth signs proclaiming “IBPA—The Best in Independent Publishing” and posters announcing that” Independent Publishers Rock” and “Support Independent Publishing” were attention-getting and had the desired effect—to attract visitors into the booth. Again this year, we offered postcards and bookmarks—they were hot, hot, hot!
To check out photos from the booth, please see the IBPA Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/MufPLc
The ALA show is primarily an information gathering show and librarians are the ultimate information gatherers. Some librarians are very specific in their needs and we follow them with catalog in hand, circling requests. Others stand in a certain genre for a period of time, make a detailed list and move on with precision. The great thing about librarians is that they will walk right into the booth and start “shopping,” because librarians are genuinely interested in the product from independent publishers.
Year after year, librarians come to the IBPA booth to see our display and to tell us that they appreciate the IBPA mailings as well. As a point of information, we took a straw poll at the Public Library Show (PLA) as to whether librarians preferred print or email to receive their information. The result was two to one in favor of print!
Specific interests voiced this year were in Children’s and Young Adult titles, History and Historical Fiction and Science, although the entire stand received well-deserved attention.
We had a beautiful color catalog this year that we handed out to so many librarians. For those who didn’t want to carry one more thing, we took names to send it to them after the show. We will also send the PDF of the catalog to the entire list of librarians we collected at the show.
The catalog is posted on the IBPA site here: (View at 100 %)
In addition to the Featured Titles area, the catalog is posted in the Book Professionals area of the site and the database by genre of all of exhibiting members’ titles is linked to both areas here:
Orders usually take place as a library’s fiscal year ends which is when they get their dollar allocation for the year. Many of you can expect to see orders through your listed wholesaler or distributor (or website) over the next 6-7 months.
We gathered seven hundred plus contact names of librarians from all over the U.S. who specifically left their information at the IBPA booth and exhibiting members can receive a copy of that list upon request.
We also had some wonderful members visit the booth this year. Thank you to everyone who came to the booth to visit and lend a hand. We really appreciate your enthusiasm and support!
The books in the booth were donated to the ALA’s charity benefiting literacy. If you have any specific questions about the display or the ALA conference, please feel free to contact the IBPA office. We are happy to help.
Thanks to the members who participated and supported IBPA.
We appreciate you!