Day 2 New Orleans. The exhibits at the American Library Association conference officially opened today. The convention center in NOLA is so huge that someone tweeted this morning that "not only does the east end of the convention center have its own time zone, but the conference directory has its own gravitational pull!"
Anyway, for me there wasn't much going on at the conference today so Mr. Richards and I strolled around the french quarter and had some food. Then we napped because that's what food and strolling will do to you. At 5:30 the exhibit floor opened. I've already spoken of the hugeness of this thing right? Well, it's huge. I'm a newb at this kind of thing so I kind of wandered around with my mouth agape and watched other, more savvy librarians grabbing all the free stuff. But I caught on pretty quickly and nabbed some goodies for our library. Mostly posters and book marks but also some free books. Tomorrow there will be authors signing books in the exhibit hall and I have a plan.....
Speaking of authors, I happened to sit next to one on the shuttle bus back to my hotel this evening. I can't remember her name at the moment, but she is a retired teacher librarian who now writes children's books. She's going to be signing books tomorrow, I'll try to stop by and say hello to her again if I can. Other authors I will be trying to see tomorrow include Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid), Jack Gantos (Joey Pigza), Dan Gutman (My Weird School), Jennifer Holm (Babymouse), and Jenny Offill (17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore), all Marshall Lane favorites.
While I was checking out all the booths, I came across the booth for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. I made a donation and got a poster signed by Neil Gaiman. CBLDF does important work protecting First Amendment rights for comic book writers, illustrators, publishers, and readers. Here is a particularly chilling story illustrating the importance of their work.
It's late now and I have to get up early and hunt authors tomorrow. I'll let you know how that pans out.