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News & Press: Trade Show News

IBPA Report from the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference 2019

Wednesday, July 10, 2019   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Terry Nathan
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by Lee Wind, Director of Marketing & Programming, Christopher Locke, Executive Assistant and Member Liaison, & Terry Nathan, Chief Operations Officer

The American Library Association’s 2019 Annual Conference was a hugely successful trade show for IBPA’s participating members!

Over 260 titles were on display in IBPA's large 40ft x 10ft booth on the exhibit hall floor. Hosting two author signing tables running simultaneously kept the space buzzing with activity, resulting in IBPA staff and volunteers being able to scan a record-breaking number of badges. All-in-all, over 1,500 booth visitors were documented. Some librarians came back multiple times to check out the titles being signed and given away. We love that—it means they are especially interested in independent voices in publishing! IBPA members who participated in the ALA conference will receive the contact information from these 1,500+ scanned badges, leading to new connections for their titles.

IBPA staff Lee Wind (left), Terry Nathan (center), and Christopher Locke (right) are excited to open the show after a successful booth set up.
A panoramic view of IBPA's 2019 ALA Annual Conference booth in action.
Young author Timothy Amadi drew plenty of librarians to the booth during one of his signings for his book Everyone Can Code: Including Kids. His publisher, Elizabeth Turnbull, told us that he practiced signing his name to prepare for the show. Thank you, Timothy for being an inspiration to us all!

Click here for the full photo gallery from this year’s show.

Conference Overview

This year’s American Library Association Annual Conference was held June 20 to 25, 2019 in Washington, D.C. and was attended by over 21,460 individuals, 14,600 of whom were librarians, educators, and other attendees to the show.

The IBPA cooperative booth always stands out with its 400 square foot display. Members’ books made quite the splash with the professionally designed shelves filled with colorful and intriguing titles.

Throughout the event, there was a constant flow of interested librarians to the booth. The IBPA staff and volunteers guided the visitors to members’ books based on the librarians’ interest in specific genres, subject matter, and more.

IBPA member (and former NFL player) Israel Idonije shares his new children's book, I Love Me, with interested librarians (left); while Peter Trimarco (right), author and illustrator of It’s Just a Bunnypalooza draws a crowd to the IBPA booth.
The IBPA booth is full of books for every reader. Above are a few shots of librarians and others enjoying the books on display

The Show Catalog

The 260+ books displayed in IBPA's cooperative booth were also included in IBPA's “Indie Titles’ ALA show catalog, which was distributed in three ways:

  1. Prior to the show, a link to the digital version of the catalog along with an invitation to visit IBPA's cooperative booth was emailed to our list of close to 2,000 librarians who have visited the IBPA booth during previous ALA shows. Included in that email was an invitation to visit the IBPA booth at this year’s show for a chance to win $500 cash.
  2. During the event, IBPA staff passed out more than 150 print catalogs featuring the 260+ member books on display. Many more librarians were happy to not have to carry the paper catalogs, but to be emailed a digitial version, as their bags were already filled with books.
  3. A link to the digital version of the catalog was emailed to every librarian whose badge was scanned by IBPA staff during the 2019 show (more than 1,200 badges were scanned this year - a new record for us!)
Librarians love dogs! And IBPA member Ted Dubois (aka Tobi Little Deer) did not disappoint during his signing of his latest book Lake Isle.

IBPA’s Panel Presentation at the ALA Conference

As a special bonus, IBPA highlighted five winners of our 2019 IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards, with the PopTop panel presentation: "IBPA Presents: The Best Independently Published Books of 2018." The panel was moderated by IBPA's Lee Wind, and the panelists were: Teri Case (author and publisher of Tiger Drive: A Novel); Chris Capen (for San Diego Zoo Press/Blue Sneaker Press’ Ruuxa & Raina: A Cheetah and Dog's True Story of Friendship and Miracles); Annie Harper (for Duet Books/Interlude Press’ Running with Lions); Trevor Wiser (for Plough Publishing House’s Mandela and the General); and Brooke Warner (publisher at She Writes Press for Rudy's Rules for Travel: Life Lessons from Around the Globe).

IBPA's Director of Marketing, Lee Wind (standing), moderates a panel of IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award-Winning authors and publishers on the floor of ALA.

IBPA member Elana Mugdan dressed in costume to help draw interest to her new book Dragon Speaker.
Special Thanks

IBPA ordered more than 100 show badges for members with books on display and we are especially grateful to all the volunteers who took the time to work the booth and encourage librarians to review all of the books on display. A special IBPA Thank You goes to members: Kurt and Dana Brackob, Mark Diehl, Margot Lester and Steve Peha, Bill Manchee, Elana Mugdan, Teresa Power and Nikki Stern for embracing IBPA’s motto of “Helping Each Other Achieve and Succeed!”

These members were key in bringing a record number of librarians into the IBPA booth this year. Their job was made a little easier with our $500 cash giveaway to one lucky librarian. In exchange for a quick scan of their badge, these librarians were entered into the drawing. More than 1,500 visitors were scanned (mostly librarians) and that list was shared with all participating IBPA members for post-show follow-up.

This year’s lucky winner? Heather Thomas, Library Media Specialist at the Virginia Beach City Public Schools. Congratulations Heather!

 IBPA's $500 Sweepstakes Winner, Heather Thomas, visiting the Baker & Taylor booth at ALA 2019.

Final Thoughts

Below you will find links to see what other parts of the industry are saying about the 2019 ALA Association Conference:

As we do every year, IBPA will be attending the ALA Conference in 2020, which takes place in Chicago, IL on June 25-30. We would love to represent your books at next year’s conference, so make sure to sign up for single-title or full shelf display now!



Susan W. Albert, Persevero Press says...
Posted Thursday, July 11, 2019
Love that panoramic photo--what a great display! You guys do such a great job. Only wish I could have been there, along with my book!--Susan Wittig Albert

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