My Friday will start earlier than normal and involve a commute that lasts roughly nine times longer than my usual one and I couldn't be happier about it. Why? Early Friday morning I'm heading to St. Louis for the 3rd YALSA Young Adult Literature Symposium: Hit Me With The Next Big Thing.
Here are the top five reasons I'm excited about the Symposium.
I haven't been to a library conference or meeting since the last Symposium in 2010. For a former-almost-conference junkie that's a long time. I love chatting with people who do the same job I do in very different ways, or share a similar passion but do a totally different job. I miss hearing new ideas, meeting new people with new approaches, seeing old friends and hearing what they're up to. And I love that no mater the setting, when you get a bunch of YA librarians together you're sure to leave with a long list of new books you can't wait to read.
Have you SEEN the list of authors attending? There are some heavy hitters there. Hearing authors speak about their work always gives a little spark to my Reader's Advisory work. Being able to throw in a little personal tidbit while trying to entice a teen to pick up a book can make a huge difference. Plus, meeting YA authors reminds me how connected we as a profession are to others, and how we all want the same thing - to make a difference for teens.
Honestly, the presentations are more stressful than exciting right now. Such a great variety; so many wonderful presenters; such important and useful topics. If only the Symposium were a week long, I wouldn't have to choose between them. Right now, my personal lineup requires me to clone myself. Fortunately, presenters from past symposiums have generously shared their handouts, so if my science is off and there's only one of me, I'm hoping the same generosity will allow me to catch a few details and book lists after the fact.
I'm expecting my reading list to explode, and the Book Blitz ought to help with that, in addition to the aforementioned book recommending that we can't seem to help doing.
Last time I was there I slept in a motel bathtub to avoid my grandpa's snores on a family vacation. The lodging should be significantly improved this time around, plus I hear great things about the City Museum and the ice cream at Ted Drewes and toasted ravioli on The Hill. I'll get to test my still wavering fear of heights in The Arch, and St. Louis natives have whispered three magical words that I think I've been waiting to hear all my life: gooey. butter. cake.
Will I see you there? Heather will be telling us all about it next week when she blogs her recap, so stop back by.