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Many thanks to all the LM_Netters who e-mailed me their opinions about
whether or not Book Expo is worth the time and expense for a school
librarian to attend.  The following is a cut-and paste HIT of the
replies I received... and they all give a collective thumbs-up to Book
Expo, with the only apparent drawback being the difficulty of taking
home all the freebies, especially if you're flying to the event and
don't have a car to haul your treasures home.

Looks like I'll be going to Book Expo in New York this year... thanks
again for these excellent insights that convinced me not to miss it.

--Bill McLoughlin


I went last year when it was in DC and loved it.  However, I see that
they've raised the price, it had been $40 for a one day pass.  I got
and lots of books.  What I couldn't use, I gave away.  However, if you
have a car with you I don't know that I'd go.  I made 4 trips to my car
materials I had picked up.

Margaret Shaffer
Library Media Specialist
Easton High School
723 Mecklenburg Ave
Easton MD 21601

I attended when it was in Chicago.  My response..a resounding yes! 
Lots of free books and materials, incredible vendors and wonderful
networking!  It is well worth the time and money!

Sue Taylor
Media Specialist
Derby Middle School
Birmingham, MI  48009

I attended Book Expo last year for the first time. I would recommend it
would most likely go again, especially since it is in my backyard this
 I did come away with tons of galleys. The programming was decent;
were some programs geared towards librarians, not too much focus on
librarians but some of it transferred over. The autographing sessions
great as well. For the really big authors, attendees were required to
get a
ticket. I believe only a limted amount per author were given out. For
the other authors, the lines moved quickly and I was always able to get
book. Hope this helps.

Nicole Sette
Media Specialist
Essex County Vocational/Technical Schools        
Newark, NJ 07107

I went last year (DC) with my husband. I found that there was so much
that you couldn't see it all. The book signings were at one end of the
convention center and looked like long lines at a toll booth. As for
give-a-ways I felt that ALA is better for this piece. This might have
due to the fact that most were given away before I went. We went on
which I believe was the third day. We did get a lot of books.

I was glad that I went but probably won't go again due to the expense.

Cecily Pilzer
Media Specialist
Georgetown Day School
4530 MacArthur Blvd. NW
Washington,  DC 20007 or

I attended Book Expo last year in D.C. and found it worthwhile
there were some issues that needed adjusting.  Lance Festerman, the
Event Director, created an Advisory Committee to hear input from
librarians (School, Public, etc.) and has implemented our suggestions.
I would strongly advise attending.  There were authors and more books
and exhibits than anyone could ever want to see.  This year, I believe
there will be break-out sessions for school librarians as well. I hope
this helps.
Carol Weinshel
Director, Learning Resources and Technology
Helen Keller Middle School
360 Sport Hill Road
Easton, CT 06612
203-268-8651 Ext. 419

I loved it!  I got quite a few free books (many were adult, not YA) and
tripped across famous authors all over the place.  The only restriction
that was a nuisance to me was that you can't have any wheeling backpacks
or anything, so I had to take lots of trips to the shipping room.  I'd
love to see a hit on this.  Debbie

I have been to Book Expo twice and am planning on going this year. It
the most wonderful experience. There are some seminars you can attend
the overwhelming joy is meeting authors and receiving FREE autographed.
prepared to stand in line after line but it is well worth it. I sent
50 pounds of books last time for my school.

Peggy Brady
Allen Creek Elementary School Library

I attended Book Expo in 2005 and nearly died from exhaustion.  If you
think ALA has good handouts, they will pale in comparison to what you'll
get FREE at Book Expo.  If you do your homework, you will meet LOTS of
authors who will sign their prepub books.  I was a hero to my daughters
bringing home Lauren Weisenberger's new book and Son of a Witch.
It's definitely worth going, although start your workouts now so you'll
have enough energy to do everything.  It is held at the Javits Center,
which is a downhill walk from the subway, but an UPHILL walk TO the
subway.  Of course they will have shuttlebusses to convention hotels,
but if you're staying with your daughter in Queens, you really have to
figure your time to get there and back and how much you want to carry
and how much you want to ship.  They do NOT allow carts on the floor, so
plan to make MANY trips to the post office.
You'll LOVE it!

Kim @ Beech Grove Public Library
in snowy Beech Grove, IN

Dear Bill - I went last time it was in New York - last year it was in
DC.  The Connecticut library council ran a bus and got us a discounted
admission - I am not lying when I say I brought home my weight in books
- and I am not a light-weight!  There are twenty to thirty authors
signing in the signing area at any one time - you just step up, they
hand you a book  (notice I did not say you pay for it - everything here
is FREE), you tell them who to make it out to,  they sign and you join
another line.  Meanwhile,  many of the booths have authors and
illustrators sitting in them waiting to sign books for you - again,
books they are giving you!  Bad news - no wheeled bags on the show
floor.  There is a librarians corner in the back run by one of the
jobbers that lets you store your books during the day and also has a
place to sit and free food.  I am going again this year - just can't
decide if I want to go for one day or two.

Jean Lowery, MLS, Ph.D.
Bishop Woods School
New Haven, CT

Hi Bill,

I loved going to BookExpo two years ago and plan to go again this year.
Since I am local I just went in for one day on Saturday.  The give
from the publishers can not be beat.  I must have walked away with a
hundred dollars worth of books and giveaways.  It is also a great 
opportunity to meet with authors and have the books autographed.  I did
attend the programs but I would recommend visiting the exhibits.

Theresa Gonzalez
Maurice W. Downing Library
Malverne, NY

Absolutely worth the time, money, effort...It is exhausting,fun, and
you meet so many people!
This will be my 4th year going.  My daughter and I go.  She works in a
small bookstore and is looking to start her own and I am a Special
Education teacher/ Librarian, grades K-8.  The amount of FREE books we
cart home is AMAZING.  We usually go on Thursday night and stay until
Sunday...AND are we ever exhausted by then.  SO many of the books aren't
even out yet.  And you get a feeling for the authors...can be very
interesting.  We get a jump on the next year reading and NEVER get
through all the books.  Plus ALL of our Friends and family are expecting
books now.....I would not miss it for the world and the time with my 24
year old, too.
East Moriches
LI New York

My cousin went last year and she had a blast.  She told me I had to go
this year, and since it is in NYC, I might.  The only problem is that I
am pregnant and will be due the week after the BookExpo. She told me she
didn't care, she would wheel me around in a wheelchair if necessary! 
She said it was mostly publishers and authors, lots of ARCs and stuff. 
For her and I, it sounds like a dream because YA lit is our passion!
  If you go, I will be the really pregnant one in the wheelchair.  ;)
  Sharon / SWMHS

Book Expo is pretty amazing.  The big publishers who are there often
lots of galleys or advanced readers' copies to give away -- and
"real" books as well.  Last time it was in NY, I came home each night
two shopping bags full of stuff (for 3 days). AND I was more selective
the previous time Book Expo had been here.

Of course, I also had my picture taken with Barbie, Curious George, and
creatures from Star Trek :-)

I don't know if as much stuff is given away for elementary school level
in high school, and don't know what level you teach) although I picked
up a
couple of books for kids of friends and relatives.

One downside is how to get all the stuff home. They have a shipping
there that seemed to be charging pretty exorbitant prices.  The main
office is about 5 long blocks away, so that could be an option (or were
planning on driving?).

If you go, bring a suitcase with you.  While you can't bring it onto
floor, you can check it at the coat check, and they allow you to go
back and
fill it up.  Otherwise in a very short time your arms will fall off.

There are some educational programs on Thursday related to Book Expo,
but I
didn't go to them last time (didn't have the day off).

I think BookExpo is definitely worth it, but then again, I live in NYC
don't have to pay for hotel, etc.

hope this helps

Rena Deutsch, Librarian
Seward Park Campus Schools
350 Grand St.
New York, NY 10002

I have only attended at Los Angeles but I was blown away with how much
there was. Yes It is worth the trip.  My wife went recently when it was
in D.C. and loved it.  Yes, there was a lot of freebies.  There was also
a librarian lounge, that was sponsored by Library Journal and School
Library journal.  It was interesting to meet some of their writers. 
Lots of Author signings.  I have had a good time at these shows.

Doug Macomber
Del Vallejo Middle School 
San Bernardino CA


HIT compiled by

Bill McLoughlin
Library Media Specialist
Brookside School
Worthington, Ohio

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