Tag Archives: laurie halse anderson

PLA Wrap-Up & John Green part 2

What a conference! I haven’t been to PLA since 2010 so this was a real treat. The programs, the exhibit hall, the people, the time with my coworkers… It makes the whole experience electric and renewed my excitement for my job.


This year has been difficult (though also exciting) for me so far because my position changed. It’s been really stressful and to be honest I constantly feel like I have to prove my worth and prove that I’m capable. I get a lot of reassurance, but I still doubt myself. This conference was timed perfectly. Next week is the Arts Gala, which will be exciting itself, but after that I’ll hopefully have a bit of a renewed outlook on my position and be able to enjoy my profession a little more.

Anyway, I participated in some exciting programs about makerspaces and makerboxes, summer reading programs, creating an exciting brand, and technology in libraries, among other things. I’m super-excited to implement some of these ideas in our library. Two of my coworkers and I brainstormed ideas via text while sitting in the summer reading session, and I think we will be able to really grow the participation from students. I’m lucky to have a pretty cool director who likes to try new things; she saw the makerboxes program and immediately said she will give us a budget for implementing something like this in our library. I can’t wait to get to work on this stuff.

The exhibits were decent this time. Being in Indianapolis meant I didn’t have to worry about checking overloaded baggage, so I loaded up on the free books. I got a few signed books from authors I am not too familiar with, plus a signed copy of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, and Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris!!



When I spoke with Laurie Halse Anderson I kept trying to think of how to tell her that I wrote a few 5 star reviews of her books… I never managed to squeeze it in. She was so cool and relaxed so I don’t know what my problem was. Anyway, I tweeted her and told her later…. and she tweeted back at me!


The John Green luncheon was so amazing. Our table was right next to his, and we were definitely the creepiest most dedicated. We kept taking selfies in which he was included.


When he got to the podium to talk he first took a picture of the group and Instagrammed it. I’m in the picture! With my phone up taking pictures, of course.


He talked about libraries, writing for Booklist, and his dedicated Nerdfighter following. He talked about writing his books, when he will start writing again (June 10th!) and why amazon will never really know what books he would enjoy.

David Sedaris was hilarious. I’m embarrassed to admit I’m not very familiar with his books or even with him. But after our brief conversation about coffee and Japan I feel he really likes me and we will probably be friends forever. Also, hearing him read his writing aloud makes me want to go pick up some of his books on cd. Which I will the next time I’m at work.


What a rewarding conference. I have been so exhausted I haven’t been able to post. But, here’s this. And more to come soon!



PLA today! It was just as golden and glittery and electric as I knew it would be. Of course the best start possible was courtesy of OverDrive, my favorite library vendor. The people at OverDrive know how to party and the company has the most upbeat, friendly, and helpful staff. Steve Potash must be amazing to work for. The combination of PLA, the OverDrive party, and being around some of my favorite coworkers and peers last night and today makes me excited about tomorrow and eager also for Digipalooza. Why’s it gotta be so far away?

The best program I went to today was on implementing maker spaces in the library. My friend/coworker Courtney and I have been interested in this for awhile now and this program, presented by a few Illinois librarians, gave me tons of ideas. These libraries essentially used boxes and filled them with maker stuff to fit a theme. For example, a music themed maker box would have a variety of tools for people to create music; a STEM themed maker box would have all kinda of things to promote science, technology, engineering, and math learning (build-your-own cardboard marble run!). I love this idea because it would allow us to start small and then go bigger. We could swap things in and out of the different boxes to keep them fresh, and offer both scheduled and impromptu programs. I can picture is setting up a science-themed maker box on the sidewalk outside the building during this summer to also promote summer reading. The possibilities! So exciting. I’m stoked about this.


The exhibit hall was so overwhelming I didn’t make it through the whole thing. But I met Laurie Halse Anderson and she signed a copy of speak for me! Tons of freebies, as usual.

The hardest part of the day was being away from the boys. I spent the night downtown so I could go all out at the OverDrive party (and, um, after) so I didn’t see them all night or day. Not a huge deal but hangover emotions are always more intense.

Tomorrow I’m attending the John Green lunch! Will report back soon. I can’t wait until tomorrow. I’m tired. PLA is phenomenal but I’m dealing with an abundance of librarians. I’m going to bed now.


Check out how I make the most of conferences here.