Saturday was a “magical” day at #ALAAC2022. The Graphic Novel and and Comics Round Table (GNCRT) hosted a tea. But, this was not just any tea party. Attendees (it was a ticketed event) got to meet publishers and creators in a speed dating format. There were some festive costumes including a GNCRT member dressed as Alice in Wonderland.
But, all of the conversations made much more sense than at the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Lewis Carroll’s classic. While guests sat at their tables sipping tea and eating scones, a creator and publisher visited the table to talk about their most recent or upcoming book. They had 10 minutes to visit before they moved on to the next table. A stopwatch was used!
It was not only a great way to meet the creators, but it was also fun meeting other librarians. And, of course, it was quite possibly the most fun way to “work” on collection development. (This format also gave me some great programming ideas for hosting a Comic Con or event at my own library.) After hearing about the creators’ work, we then got to ask questions. How wonderful to have one-on-one time with so much talent. Some of the illustrators were doodling (amazingly fun and adorable!) illustrations on the table numbers as they moved from table to table.
If this had been a speed dating event, I want a second date with all of them!
Conference guest contributor Soline Holmes (she/her/hers) is a librarian and the Library/Technology Department chair at Academy of the Sacred Heart in New Orleans, Louisiana. Soline is excited to be back in person at ALA and is looking forward to the Newbery/Caldecott banquet and ALSC’s Newbery 100 Celebration! on Saturday, June 25. She is a Member-at-Large for ALA’s Graphic Novels and Comics Roundtable. She also serves on the Louisiana Young Readers Choice Award committee, is a board member of the New Orleans Information Literacy Collective (2021-22 Chair), and is a Teaching with Primary Sources Network Mentor. She has given presentations on graphic novels, Mother Goose and STEM, Primary Sources, and Global Education at local and national conferences. Soline also co-authored, with Alicia Schwarzenbach, an article about graphic novels as informational texts for Children and Libraries and was interviewed for Book Links about how to best use graphic novels in the classroom. Most recently, she was selected for and honored to participate in ALSC’s Bill Morris seminar.
Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.