I may work with elementary students, by my reader's heart is satisfied with YA lit. Fortunately, I have a buddy at my school (school nurse!) who is my reading soulmate and she jumped on this crazy idea to go to a YA book festival in Charleston... so Veteran's weekend, we headed to YALLfest! It. Was. Awesome. So many of my favorite authors were there to sign books, talk on panels, and run into on the streets of downtown Charleston. I had never been before, but fell in love with the 5 blocks of Charleston I got to see :) The slogan for YALLfest is "Where the writers are rock stars" and it's so true - seeing some of my literature heroes in person, chat with them about their books, or where I bought my tee shirt, or congratulating them on a recent movie deal... Just mind blowing. Most of my time was spent cruising the many stops to get books signed and time to talk to them, but I did go to a panel where authors talked about the impact of family on their narratives, a chat with Sarah Dessen (my fave) and Ally Condie (Matched series), and a "smack down" that turned out to have some interesting content (see the new 'Mockingjay cover!") Below is just a mix of some of the fun we had, authors we saw, and general nerding-out (QUIDDITCH! in person!) !
I spent the short week after returning from Charleston prepping our library for hosing our first local book fair! I need to write a thorough post about how it all panned out, One of the biggest changes from the Scholastic drill is having to use your own space/shelves/surfaces for the materials versus those convenient traveling cases. I spent 3 long days prepping my space, and waiting until late Friday to close the library and get the whole thing set up. I wouldn't have been able to do it without the library assistant, Terri (who found some of the books interesting enough to preview....) and an 'intern' who is finishing her MLS degree, Lora. They stayed late on a Friday evening to make it all come together! It was worth the hard work though knowing how much thought and time I had already invested in selecting the books, and the risk and investment Downtown books had made on this event. Our students did a great job promoting the event, we had posters made and hung them around the school, and I even made a few promo videos to show on the morning news show. Terri suggested we do a virtual tour of the fair once it was set up, so I pulled together a video that showcased the set up and selections that would be awaiting our shoppers, and it was distributed on both our school website, and through social media. It's amazing how fast word got out in our community! Below are some prep pictures, as well as the promo video. More on how the book fair unfolded... coming soon... but for now - REST!