I’ll be heading back to the Midwest tomorrow, where we’ll be seeing some of the coldest temperatures on record. While I’m not looking forward to that bitter cold, I am looking forward to getting back to serving my patrons. A conference always has that effect on me. I feel rejuvenated and hopeful, especially after the results of the YMAs. Merci Suarez Changes Gears is a book I’ve been plugging since it came out and I was so thrilled that it won the Newbery Medal. I am also a huge Neil Gaiman fan and am so pumped that he’ll be giving the 2020 May Hill Arbuthnot Honor Lecture. I’ll also be doing a Mock Caldecott with staff as we did one last year and we all had a great time. Hello, Lighthouse, this year’s winner, was one of the titles I had set aside for our Mock Caldecott.
Another highlight of the conference for me was the panel discussion Hear Diversity: Bringing Authentic Voices into Audiobook Production. I love audiobooks and I seek out narrators I’ve enjoyed before. January LaVoy is one of those phenomenal narrators and it was wonderful to hear how she brings life to characters in the studio. Her fellow panelists, producer Laura Wilson, publisher Phoebe Yeh and Listening Library editorial director Rebecca Waugh, discussed all the moving parts that result in an audiobook from casting to the final product. I didn’t realize that usually they only have 3-4 days to record the whole book.
As far as swag, this year I was really excited to see more early readers and graphic novels for younger children. These are always in high demand in our library so it’s encouraging to see that more are being published.
Now I’m off to get some sipping chocolate at Indi Chocolate in hopes it will warm my insides enough to survive the polar vortex that awaits. I hope everyone had a great conference and if you were left behind I hope you can attend the next one!