2010-2011 CTLA Meeting Activity Photos
from September, 2010 to May, 2011
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   Mickey Simmons (Sales Rep.), Cynthea Liu (Guest Speaker), Mark Sherman (Rainbow Books Pres.), Carolyn Brna (CTLA Pres.), and Larry Klaber (Sales Rep.) share a smile!

    Our first meeting was again hosted by Rainbow Books at the Marriott at Medical District/UIC on September 25 and included a full hot breakfast buffet with desserts-to-go! Cynthea Liu was our guest speaker. Above, Lisa Perez (Area Librarian and Professional Library Librarian at Medill) gave Dept. of Lib. & Info. Services news that the Dept. staff was cut in half.

   Above, Cynthea presented on "Diversity Within Diversity" and shared her personal story of growing up in America. She strives to express her positive ethnic diversity and the diversity of other authors of color when a vast majority of stories only feature white characters. Cynthea takes the book industry to task to better represent our rich heritages in America, starting with the book cover illustrations and penetrating down into character development and contemporary settings. To advocate for better diversity in children's literature, Cynthea has her recommended book lists at: www.cynthealiu.com/booklists. While on her website, you may navigate to her bio, bibliography, upcoming events, blog, and information on school/event visits, which include special rates for Chicago area schools. Below, Cynthea staged a drama activity called "The Big Game" on diversity appreciation in a high school setting.
  Above center, Cynthea demonstrates how book covers can avoid people of color in Silver Phoenix before and after editions. Below left and right, she advocates for rich literature experiences.

  Above left, Rainbow Book President Mark Sherman welcomes all and renews his company commitment to service excellence. Above right, Carmita Ortiz is sworn in as CTLA Vice President by Pres. Carolyn Brna and Immediate Past President Tatiana Novy.
The October meeting was hosted by Follett Library Resouces and held at the the Marriott at Medical District/UIC on October 23. A buffet breakfast was provided along with great hospitality from Derrek Lyons and Andy Larson, two of Follett's four account managers serving Chicago and providing comprehensive support services. Follett has faithfully hosted meetings for over 20 years through all the economic swings. CTLA President (at right) Carolyn Brna thanks Follett for their loyalty and professionalism. Andy reported that Follett's President Chuck Follett is a keynote speaker at the School Library Journal’s 2010 Leadership Summit!at the Chicago Marriott Downtown that morning! Digital content is here, but books are still their priority! Carolyn just returned from the annual convention of The Society of School Librarians International (SSLI) in the Florida Keys, and gave a full report.
Below, Derrek shows off Follett's cutting-edge website Titlewave for one-stop shopping and ordering... the Amazon.com for school libraries! Above right is the Education Director of City Lit Theater Katy Nielsen. Katy serves this theater devoted to stage adaptations and concert readings of literary material. In addition, Katy recently directed and performed with her troupe at CPL branches plus suburban libraries for ALA's Banned Books Week. City Lit has a webpage devoted to their educational program and outreach!
Children's Author Claudia Guadalupe Martinez (above, left, and below) is from Chicago and the author of award-winning The Smell of Old Lady Perfume. Claudia shared her passion about giving a voice to unheard stories from underserved communities, including the threat of censorship that forces conformity.
Below, Claudia reads from her coming-of-age book The Smell of Old Lady Perfume. The book is set in El Paso, Texas and shares the life of a 6th grade girl trying to assimilate between cultures and deal with family and friend issues. Claudia signed books after the meeting. In addition, all attendees received a free hardcover book of choice (pictured at right) thanks to hosts Andy & Derrek!

Kori Kubitz (at right and below) and Jo Ann Flournoy, Direct Publishers’ Representative for Capstone Press and Rosen Publishing, along with other publishers, hosted a fabulous social hour and served dinner to about 100 grateful CTLA members and her guests at Connie's Restaurant on November 16. Kori's theme was dance and its artistic joy. Kori emphasized the strong value-added partnership of Capstone Press, for example, their free library skills downloadable resources or their Capstone Interactive and of Rosen Publishing, for example, their Teen Health & Wellness: Real Life, Real Answers or their 5000+ eBooks. As always, Kori had a jazzy PowerPoint presentation to showcase her great products and company services.
At right, Carolyn, President, deeply thanks Kori and leads a brief business meeting.
Above and below, Kori shows us the latest and greatest library resources and how she and Jo Ann strive to be a one-stop can-do shop.

At left, Kori's son demonstrates how to get a cookie from his forehead to his mouth. All attendees gave it a try to win fun dance statuettes. Everyone turned out to be a winner, plus received six new hardcover books and bags of cookie-to-go. Above, Kori, Jo Ann, and Carolyn enjoy the evening!
The January meeting was hosted by Children's Plus, Inc. and held at the Maggiano’s *Little Italy* Restaurant on Grand Av. on January 29. About 175 librarians and educators were treated to a banquet-style three-course brunch with all the Maggiano italian food favorites! The keynote speaker was Earl Sewell, popular author of the Kimani Tru series along with some adult titles. He gave a rousing talk about growing up on the west side and then moving to Palatine at age 12 and his path to becoming an impassioned writer, including frequent trips to libraries, joining book clubs, and refining his english. Children's Plus recently added Maureen Arthur to their staff to cover Chicago south schools, who partners with Don Hull covering Chicago north schools. CTLA thanks Kevin Walsh (President) and Dan Walsh (Distribution Center Manager) for hosting their 6th year in a row at Maggiano's! This event is now called the "wedding reception" meeting with deluxe accommodations!

Above, the Department of Libraries and Information Services (DLIS) was well represented. From left to right, CTLA Pres. Carolyn Brna, CPS Office of Reading Officer (and past DLIS Director) Paul Whitsitt, Earl, Area Librarian Lisa Perez, DLIS Director Jeremy Dunn and his wife. Below, Children's Plus President Kevin Walsh introduces Maureen Arthur, new regional manager for Chicago south and CTLA long-time vendor host. Kevin also refers to Children Plus' "heart power" to best serve the whole needs of librarians. Below right, Don Hull, regional manager for Chicago north talks about their generous raffle with over 25 winners! Dan Walsh,Children's Plus Distribution Center Manager, earlier pledged his on-going support for CTLA. The meeting added 10 new members and 15 renewals!
Below, are three of over 25 joyous raffle winners of books and chocolates! Everyone attending received a copy of Myself and I: A Keysha Novel, part of the Kimani Tru series. Earl Sewell stayed to dedicate and sign over 175 books, such as the one below!