Well, just got unpacked and sort of resettled from my trip to the Texas Library Association Annual Conference. This was my second time going, and it was a completely great time. At these conferences, along with sessions on the different issues in the field, and booths of library vendors, there are also publisher booths and author signings. So along with the career development and networking aspect of the conference, if you know where to go you leave with a serious amount of books, free of charge. And you better believe that I walked in, and gathered some goodies.
Highlights of the conference:
Seeing librarian friends. Always so good.
Session on The Magic of Writing, about Ray Bradbury’s writing/creative process. Bradbury is one of my all time favorite people and authors, and his ideas of writing were exactly what I needed to hear. Expect a whole Bradbury post (or several, because he’s Bradbury). The session was led by Sam Weller, Bradbury’s official biographer. He did an amazing job getting all that information, and even stories about Bradbury, into a one hour session. He even battled some technological audio attacks, and won (when in doubt, unplug all the things and celebrate victory). I highly recommend his books/twitter/general acquaintance. You can find him on twitter @Sam__Weller and his books are available all over (The Bradbury Chronicles, Listen to the Echoes, Shadow Show, Ray Bradbury: The Last Interview).
Udon Entertainment booth (Manga Classics, YES PLEASE). Manga, comics discussions, and a very generously offered chair to sit in when weighed down with many books. If you have never checked out Manga Classics, I so heavily recommend the series. They just released The Jungle Book and The Count of Monte Cristo. You don’t have to be a huge Manga fan to appreciate them (there’s even a how to read manga guide at the beginning of each book).
Graphic novel/comic panels. Because comics matter, and are real books, and I still can’t understand why so many people fight against people (especially kids) reading comics. The fact that comics can increase literacy and have so many other benefits will be another post. I’ll get the soapbox ready. But the chance to listen to or take part in discussions about the topic of comics/graphic novels is always wonderful.
BOOKS. Yeah, I got a lot of free books, including Advanced Reader’s Copies of books that haven’t come out yet. It gives librarians a chance to see what’s coming out, and to stay on top of what’s new for their readers. I certainly got more than a few new titles to read, and kind of wish I could just read for two weeks. But it’s finals time, and going to work is also a generally recommended.
Career Development-I absolutely love sessions that give great tips to people who job hunting or just want to keep resumes up to date. And I really love that TLA has a career center at the conference. In case y’all didn’t know, getting library jobs is not always easy, and it’s always nice to see your professional association supporting members.
Chelsea Clinton ended the conference talking about her work with kids who are change-makers. Great talk that made me want to support everyone, but especially kids, brave enough to fight for the things they care about. Getting a copy of the book with the stories of these kids (It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired, & Get Going!), and getting it signed was a nice bonus. Also, she has a new picture book coming out called She Persisted about some great women in history and I’m going to have to buy it for my god-daughter.
80s cover band The Spazmatics at the President’s Dinner. Librarians know how to get down. Oh my all. They really do.
Family time-I got to see one set of grandparents before I left town! It’s good for the heart.
Last but not least, being in San Antonio near the River Walk and just walking around, which I haven’t done in years, was so nice. The weather was generally good for TX. Overall not scorching (although definitely muggy), and something about strolling along the River Walk and taking in the sights and sounds is my favorite.
That was just a little recap of the past week of my life. I’m working on a couple of posts about the books I’m most excited about from the conference, because there are few things I love more than sharing great books. Expect those soon. For now, I have to go tackle some end of the semester assignments, because adulting is a very real thing.
I’ll be back in a bit, with some books you’re going to want to add to your to-read list. Until then, have lovely week!