The Park & The Playground @ ALA




A new feature of the exhibit hall, The Park is a great place to take a break from the miles of aisles. Enjoy a little green (carpet) space and take a little break. The Park @ ALA is located in the center of the exhibit hall with the food court above.


Haley Tricycles of Philadelphia, PA has brought one of their Book Bikes to The Park @ ALA this year. They are pedal powered, compact mobile libraries that many communities around the US and Canada use to bring the libraryoutside to public spaces, events, and playgrounds.


Catch some shade and listen to the birds sing under the NatureMaker Sycamore tree. A high-grade epoxy and composite over steel, with bark detail that is hand carved and hand painted (visit them at booth #4643).

You can also watch the cloud float by…actually, word clouds made up of ALA’s four strategic directions.



Embrace your creativity and imagination with Rigamajig Junior. Join KaBOOM!, the national non-profit dedicated to ensuring all children get the balance of active play they need, in playing and building with the home-size version of Rigamajig, the innovative large-scale building kit for kids of all ages.




Stop by for an afternoon snack, compliments of the Exhibits Round Table...pretzel, peanuts, ice cream...a different treat every day from 2:00–3:30pm.


Feel the need to sit in a comfy chair and listen to some soothing sounds or read a ‘Zine? Enter one of the Tranquility Domes.


Come see Wordsworth, the Better World Books’ book-donation-mobile!! When called to action, Wordsworth donates up to 3,500 books per visit to schools, libraries, senior living communities, and learning centers throughout the Midwest. Wordsworth is part of the Better World Books Cares global book donation program, and the company has donated over 3.6 Million books to organizations in need in just the past 12-months. To learn more, visit


Help us decorate two fiberglass “book benches”? Brought to us by Chicago Fiber Glass, after the conference they will be sealed and used at ALA’s headquarter building in Chicago….you may even see them at a future conference.  You can also take one home….a book bench is included in the ERT/Christopher J. Hoy Silent Auction in the grand concourse.





This new interactive area will give you the chance to "play" with future-focused technologies arriving in libraries today and tomorrow. The Playground will showcase a wide range of hands-on opportunities including a maker space, virtual and augmented reality demo zone, coding for all ages, drone pilot-ing, 3D printing in various formats, robotics and more. The Playground is located in the middle of the exhibit hall behind The Park.


How can we break down barriers to opportunity and empower every student through technology? Join us at the Google Lounge space to recharge and learn how we can work together to inspire youth around the world not just to use technology but to create it. More information on Google’s free computer science education efforts is available at


The Maker Demo area will feature many emerging tech-nologies and organizations that are making their way into library spaces every day. The Demo Area will give attend-ees hands-on opportunities with a wide range of tools from coding to 3D printing and STEM toys to mobile apps. If you ever considered starting or expanding your maker space, this is a must be destination filled with the latest games, gadgets, gizmos along with takeaway activities. The Area is being organized by the Evolve Project a collaborative platform that aims to change the way people see libraries through partnering with innovative start-ups around the world.

Virtual Augmented Reality (VAR) technology is emerging as the new medium for 21st century learning. VAR immersive experiences are now feasible and available with new technology, interfaces, and software being released daily. Libraries are positioned to be one of the catalysts for community engagement and VAR content development. Come by and experience Virtual Reality using state-of-the-art systems. 






New Media Learning makes technology available and accessible to all. We began VARLibraries in 2016 as a clearinghouse for libraries to share best practices in the installation and use of virtual and augmented reality technologies in libraries, We are the project coordinator for the California Virtual Reality Experience which is installing over 100 VR systems in public libraries throughout California. 


The Oculus Rift with Touch sensors is a virtual reality headset that completely immerses you inside virtual worlds where intuitive actions feel as natural as using your real hands. 



HTC VIVE is a first-of-its-kind virtual reality platform developed by HTC and Valve for total immersion in virtual worlds. With the VIVE headset and wireless controllers, you can explore and interact with VR experiences, apps and games that blur the line between imagination and reality.

The Califa Group is a nonprofit library membership consortium of more than 220 libraries. Under the direction of California State Librarian Greg Lucas, they have spearheaded the introduction of Virtual Reality in California libraries with the California Virtual Reality Experience project installing over 100 VR systems in underserved public libraries.

Lifeliqe lets users experience the unique sense of immersion and presence as you fly alongside the International Space Station like an astronaut or swim underwater by a shark's body as you wonder at its anatomy. You'll also be able to enter Lifeliqe's learning experiences in mixed reality on the Microsoft HoloLens and view a blood vessel in stunning detail as you walk around it or atoms rotating right in front of you.


MakeVR Pro uses the same industry standard professional CAD engine as MakeVR and adds a range of features for precision modeling, scaling and printing of 3D objects. It also take advantage of Vive’s room-scale VR to introduce new ways users can manipulate objects intuitively with natural two-handed motions, improving the time it takes to design in 3D.

Mission:ISS lets users take a trip into orbit and experience life on board the International Space Station! In this immersive and fun simulation, learn how to move and work in zero-gravity using the Touch controllers. Dock a space capsule, take a spacewalk, and let real astronauts guide you on the ISS through archival video clips.


The VR/AR area will also include a KI's Sway lounge chair which adapts to your every move. A first of its kind, the Sway lounge chair provides 3D adjustability, allowing you to pivot from front to back, side to side and everywhere in between, with a smooth 360-degree swivel.



Visit the Paperback Radio mobile unit and chat with their team.

Paperback Radio is the nation's only live 24/7 station about books, writers, and readers, with music from the 60s, 70s and 80s: It has been on the air nonstop for more than a year offering a daily lineup covering news, sports, film, cover design, writing help, bestsellers lists, and interviews with A-list authors.

It will be airing live from the floor Saturday June 24 and Sunday June 25 from 9 to 5, for a total of 16 hours of live ALA coverage. The mobile studio will broadcast from Booth # 2656. Stop by, watch, and participate.

Download the free Paperback Radio app from Google Play or iTunes today.


Need an out of the way place to flesh out a new idea with col-leagues....use the Playground Collaboration Tables. White board tops and plenty of wipe off markers help stir your creativity to tackle any challenge.


Looking for an easy community service contribution...

The Playground will also feature a Little Free Library construction area and the ALA Staff Association will host a blood drive.

Everyone is invited to join Little Free Library for Library-building Stop by, pick up a drill, and help assemble a Library kit. Not mechanically inclined? we’ll have additional fun and interactive activities for you! Libraries left with Little Free Library will be distributed through our Impact Fund program. This program receives hundreds of applica-tions a year from people and organizations all around the U.S. that need a boost in bringing books to their communi-ties. Recipients of these Libraries will receive mounting posts for installation, a starter set of books, and free shipping.


Blood donations help save lives. Organized by the ALA Staff Association and LifeSource, Chicago. A limited number of donation opportunities will be available. Visit the website ( to schedule a time - or stop by to see if there are openings. Saturday, June 24,10:00am–4:00pm. A special thanks to LifeSource, Chicago.

To SIGN UP, please follow the instructions below:

  • Visit
  • Click on "Donate Blood"
  • Click on "Make an Appointment"
  • Click on "New Donor"
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and enter the GROUP code - 897E - where it says "Search by Group Code"
  • Click "Search"
  • Click on the AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION drive (so that it is highlighted) then click on "Select"

    From this screen, donors can select the timeslot they wish.

Donor Resources

A New Donor Guide to Blood Donation

Donor Eligibility Recruitment Guidelines