Monday, April 07, 2008

PLA 2008 - Minneapolis

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Public Library Association's 2008 Conference in Minneapolis, so I thought I'd share with all of you.

Now, I had been to ALA Midwinter in Philly, so I knew what to expect from the conference, but I have only flown twice before (round trip to Florida to visit my aunt) so I was a little nervous about that. Luckily I was on the same flight as our lovely Library Marketing Manager, Victoria Stapleton (gotta give her a shout-out) and she walked me through the whole security thing and all the scary-new stuff.

Once we were on the plane, we were separated, but that was totally fine because I had brought a book to read. An adult book (ooooooooh) which I knew I would never get to read if I didn't bring it. It was Blind Fall by the wonderful Christopher Rice. I'm such a huge fan of his work and this one did not disappoint. Not my favorite of his four books, but still very good nonetheless.

Once we arrived in Minneapolis, it was a work-extravaganza. I was lifting boxes and moving tables and building pretty stacks of Advance Reader Copies. But ya know what -- I had a blast. Victoria is so sharp and hilarious, which our authors know full well from their times with her, and which I knew as well, but appreciated experiencing on a whole new level.

We were there Tuesday through Friday and it was really wonderful to be able to walk around and see all the books that everyone has coming up. Because I had been to ALA, I recognized a lot of them, but I was still able to get some freebies that I hadn't been able to get in January.

One of the highlights of the conference was making friends with the Hyperion folk in the booth across the way, Angus and Hallie. They helped make the week very memorable, adding to the hilarity that was ever-present in our general booth area and teaching me many things about library shows. And they were hosting a signing with Brian Selznick, which was pretty cool too. I went over and introduced myself and got a book signed. Very exciting. Also exciting was meeting and attending a fantabulous dinner with Victoria, my new Hyperion friends, some exceptional library folk from Penguin, and Jon Scieszka. Who is also hilarious. I suppose I should note that EVERYONE was hilarious at PLA. I mean, seriously, children's book people (and maybe library folk especially) have a GREAT sense of humor. And I was total taken in by it all. Very good times.

It was nice to also find time to hang out with my friend Mike, who is also a library marketing person. We grabbed drinks on Thursday night after all the craziness had died down. And after I had treated myself to some fondue at a nearby restaurant. And let me tell you -- eating alone, outside of New York, at a NORMAL, non-dinery restaurant. It feels WEIRD! But the food more than made up for it.

Anyway, good times all around. This post was somewhat scattered. This is what happens when I wait too long to blog about things I need to blog about...and when I take a break from doing work to blog without letting my brain take a break as well...and when I'd rather be listening to music from Disney's Enchanted. It's great! If you haven't seen it, go rent it right now!

Ok so that's it for my ramble. Stay tuned for more coherent posts and some good news that I'm waiting for the right time to share.

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