Monroe Library Blog

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Librarian Field Trip

I had the honor of attending the Children's Literature Conference in Bellingham last weekend. This served as sort of a librarian field trip, and brought back grade school memories especially since I got to ride on a (shuttle) bus, eat a box lunch, and listen to professionals (in this case authors for children and teens) talk about what they do.

Librarians tend to treat writers like rock stars and in this case we got to see a Hall of Fame lineup of Newbery-, Caldecott- and Printz-award winning authors Linda Sue Park, Gerald McDermott, and John Green. Each author talked about their work and how they connected with their readers in a variety of different ways. Park used baseball as an analogy, McDermott showed a student film he had made as a young author, and Green used Internet memes such as Kanye's "Imma let you finish" and video blogs.

In fact Green's entire presentation was based on humor, but quite profound as he explained the Internet is not just a place to find silly jokes and videos, but a tool for establishing connections between authors and readers, teachers and students, and even (if I can extrapolate a bit) librarians and patrons. His example was a video blog that he records to communicate with his brother (but one that is followed by thousands of teens... and more than a few librarians) on Youtube in which he talks entirely about The Catcher in the Rye, was watched by 90,000 people. My example (viewed by far fewer people... but more than a few librarians) would be these blogs that staff put out there to tell our patrons about books, reading, the library system, or a librarian's day. They may seem kind of dull or pedantic (really, who gets THAT excited about databases?) but they offer a way for libraries to connect with their users and show them the variety of ways libraries are working to matter in their lives.

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