Sorry for the late post today! But it's worth it to read about this unique approach! Introvert Innovation at work!
How to Meet 14,000 Librarians Before the Babysitter Leaves
Shade helps. Also water and a fully charged laptop battery.
Last June, the American Library Association (ALA) conference came to Washington, DC: 14,000 librarians, three miles from my home. I planned to spend a full day, Friday, meeting librarians in the exhibit hall.
But at the last minute, I learned the exhibit hall wouldn't open until Friday evening, right around my preschoolers' bedtime. Weekdays were when I had childcare. I had to meet those librarians.
I sulked. I rechecked the ALA website. Finally, I bought foam board.
Friday morning, I collected my badge at the Convention Center. Then I crossed the street, put on sunscreen, and sat down to write in Mt. Vernon Square. The foam board announced, "YA Author At Work. Please Interrupt--I Love to Meet Librarians!"
And librarians came! From North Carolina, then from Paris. I met librarians from 10 states and four countries, plus a School Library Journal blogger and someone from the ALA's YouTube channel.
I even got some writing done.
Sure, my second location, closer to the main sidewalk, required propping myself up against tree roots. But I met two dozen friendly people who wanted to learn about my books and Skype visits. And I gained confidence as a publicist.
Of course, not everyone lives in a big conference city. But librarians, reading specialists, and other book people meet in state and regional groups too--often with trees or benches nearby. Just remember they want to meet you--and remember plenty of sunscreen.
Pamela Ehrenberg is the author of Tillmon County Fire (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2009) and Ethan, Suspended (Eerdmans Books for Young Readers, 2007). More information about her Skype author visits and her online workshop, "Making Time to Write in an Impossibly Busy Life," can be found on her website, www.pamelaehrenberg.com.