Back in 2010, the American Library Association held their Annual Conference in Washington, DC. There were comics publisher and distributors there, a few mainstream publishers had started publishing comics, and YA librarians loved how manga engaged teens to read. (Here’s what ICV2 reported back then.)
Nine years later, ALA returns to DC, and (sorry, Heidi)


Librarians Love Comics!

There’s all the stuff on the exhibits floor (publishers, autographings, stages, pavilions, artist alley) that, alone, would make this trade show and conference rival most comic cons! (Gilbert Hernandez. Frank Miller. Nnedi Okorafor. Raina Telgemeier. Nathan Hale. Dan Santat. Ngozi Ukazu. Jon Muth.)
What really makes ALA so amazing are the many sessions held during the conference. While the show floor is open from Friday evening until Monday afternoon, the actual conference begins Thursday at 8 AM, and ends Tuesday at 4 PM! Some of it is business meetings, some is professional development, and some is fun stuff, like tours of local libraries and special collections! And it’s all designed to make librarians better at promoting comics to their local patrons! (Psst… you may not know… but just about any town with 1,000 or more people… it’s got a library. Probably two, if you count the local school. Probably more, if there’s a college, or it’s a major metropolitan area. Probably more libraries in that area than Starbucks, and those libraries appreciate comics and graphic novels, because comics are popular. Don’t believe me? Go visit your local library and ask the nice employee behind the reference desk.)
Here’s a nigh-definitive list of all the events that comics-loving librarians are interested in, with a few extra geeky distractions added!
All require a “full conference registration”.
“GNCRT” refers to the Graphic Novel and Comics Round Table, a chartered group of comics librarians and other allies, kind of like Justice League Unlimited, if the Justice League hung out at libraries.