This weekend I got to go to ALA Midwinter–aka where librarians, educators, authors, publishers, bloggers, readers, and general fans of books and media come to learn and engage and share Girl Scout cookies. (Seriously, bringing Girl Scout cookies to a conference is a way to ensure people love you.) I’d never been to an ALA event before, and I only got an exhibit hall pass, but it was such a fantastic weekend. Some highlights:
- Meeting librarian and writer and blogger friends from the Internet in real life–you get to hug them in real life!–and seeing lovely librarian and writer friends from the Boston area.
- Seeing adorable baby pictures of aforementioned friends. (Or adorable pictures of their babies or their nieces/nephews.)
- Having writer friends in from out of town meant an awesome panel at Brookline Booksmith, one of my favorite places to both meet readers and buy books. Awesome questions, thoughtful/hilarious discussion, fantastic audience.
- Saying hi and the Candlewick booth and snagging an ARC of A Tyranny of Petticoats: 15 Stories of Belles, Bank Robbers & Other Badass Girls.
- Listening to thoughtful discussions at the We Need Diverse Books panel and the Class of 2K16 Debuts panel.
- Seeing ARCs for friends books and getting excited about all the future readers who will love these books.
- Sharing Thin Mints with friends old and new.
- Talking about reading, writing, publishing, teen readers, feminism, graphic novels and more with people who get it.
This is the kind of weekend that reminds me why I love being part of the book community. People are so enthusiastic and smart and talented and kind and thoughtful and funny. They’re pushing the boundaries in all sorts of fields and making a difference for readers everywhere. I cheered along with the webcast of the ALA Youth Media Awards this morning, and was so proud to be part of this larger community.
Thanks to all who helped make this such a fun and inspiring weekend. Here’s to another awesome year of our bookish community!