Monday, July 2, 2012

In which Mike meets Disneyland security and Emily fangirls out

There's nothing quite like a conference to rejuvenate your passion for what you do.  Coming from a relatively small, single branch library, it can be a little intimidating competing with very large systems with very large budgets.  But the end game is the same...libraries play a crucial role in every community, and as times changes, the institution and the amazing people who champion it must find a way to remain relevant.

So in a quick break down, here's a breakdown of my week:

1) Gnomes + Airport = Excitement.  For the first time ever, Mike the Garden Gnome literally got patted down by security.  After watching him travel back and forth through the x-ray machine for a solid 3 minutes, the gnome was pulled aside and got patted down.  On the upside, I met a TSA agent who is a gnome enthusiast like myself!

2)  California weather really is perfect (minus the smog of course). And I firmly believe that every state should have palm trees.

3)  I've been at this for 5 years now, and I still don't feel like a professional.  At the award luncheon I attended, surrounded by brilliant, innovative librarians of all types, I felt a bit ridiculous.  It didn't help when I was introduced with the line "Emily's not a teen anymore, but she still thinks like one."

4) Libraries really need to start thinking outside the box.  We have started telling our story, trying to get the community, politicians, and non-library users to understand that we are more than just a building with books.  It's time we start acting like it. Even with tight budgets, we have the ability to create warm, inviting spaces for all ages.  And my library totally rocks.  We might be small, but we are mighty!

5)  The exhibit hall at a national conference is one of the most terrifying places on Earth.  I love librarians, but they can be a bit vicious when free books are available.  It's like black Friday on steroids.  Oh!  And fake Spidermen can be totally snarky!

6)  In the presence of Libba Bray, I totally fangirl out.  I missed the chance to have a book signed, but I was lucky enough to get to hear her read the first chapter of her new book.  After the reading, I take off running after her, gnome in hand, and when I actually get her to turn around, my hand is shaking so badly I can barely take a picture!

 7)  I was able to contain myself a little better with Neal Shusterman and Kenneth Oppel, but just barely.  Mike, on the other hand, stayed calm and collected as usual.  P.S. There are TONS of great books coming out this fall!  I couldn't get my hands on a few of the Advanced Reader Copies that I really wanted, but hey, I'm a librarian.  I'll get to read the books eventually!  Authors I sadly didn't get to meet:  Kendare Blake, Marissa Meyer, Melissa Marr, Lemony Snicket, MOLLY RINGWALD, Ernest Cline, Erin Morgenstern, Jackson Pearce, Sherman Alexie, and oh so many more...

 8) Gnomes are not allowed in Disneyland.  You can purchase gnomes in Disneyland, but apparently they don't like strangers.  After being stopped at the security gate, I was escorted by friendly "cast members" to the lockers, where they watched me lock my friendly gnome away.  Mike and I spend a lot of time with security.

9)  Hollywood is not glittery glamorous like you anticipate.  Or maybe that's just me.  While I was not uber-impressed, I did get to see Dean Martin's handprints, and Mike had his picture taken on the Muppet's star on the Walk of Fame.

10)  Teen lit is my far the trendiest thing in the book world, in no small part because of amazing bloggers and book advocates.  To all of you who love to read and share, never stop, just don't forget you can get books for free at your local library!

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