I'm so glad I got to go to the American Library Association Conference this weekend.
Okay. I'll confess: part of the charm was that I got to have my very first book signing. It felt pretty strange to get to scratch my name across the title page of my ARC, the wonderful smell of book pages wafting up to me as I did it. And I got to sit next to the amazing Kathryn Fitzmaurice while I did it. (See picture!)
I'll also admit that part of the charm was getting to meet my editor in person for the first time. It was amazing to finally see her after nearly a year of phone conversations about The Everafter.
And the opportunity to pick up ARCs from several different Harper Collins imprints? The teacher in me was squealing inside with delight. Had to contain her so as to maintain something approaching a professional demeanor.
But what was beyond amazing was meeting so many dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate librarians. They made me stop to think about how important (even if quietly waiting in the wings) librarians and school librarian parapros have been to me for my whole life. I remember them helping me find books in elementary school, giving me writing contest information in high school, taking me on tours of MSU's monstrously large library in college. How would I have made it through my first year teaching high school history without the help of the building's librarian? She was phenomenal. Today, the librarian in the building I work in still goes to bat for me whenever I ask for help with something. She's an incredible and enthusiastic resource. And who did I see right away at ALA as I was getting ready to sign books for my first time ever? My local East Lansing Public librarian--a long time co-conspirator in bringing mid-grade, young adult and teen novels to kids. Even though so many of the other librarians who have impacted me throughout my life weren't or couldn't physically be there, all the others who were brought home to me what stars librarians have always been in my life.
Thanks, guys. You're amazing.