January 22nd, 2007

Librarians satisfy depraved cravings at ALA

Yeah, I know, just a completely bogus come-on of a subject line. But Carmen Oliver confessed to her book habit in comments to my last ALA post and I suddenly remembered the drawn faces, the shaking hands, the unnatural hunger in librarians' eyes at this week's ALA. (Well, maybe it was just jet lag and the sheer enormity of three conventions halls full of books and vendors, and some 6 days of meetings and the 20-minute line at the one, ONE Starbucks on the convention floor. Come on, people, this is Seattle.)

But ALA is the ultimate book junkie's fix. Librarians already weighted down with giant bags of advanced readers copies and review books could not resist the siren call of yet more free books.

We took complete advantage of it at the SCBWI booth. Various SCBWI officers acted as shills, standing out in the aisle luring unsuspecting librarians in with the promise of a raffle drawing for a bundle of books (also featuring local authors). Then we authors would suck them deeper into our web with our own free books, exacting business cards and promises to read our books from them.

It was fun and even though the booth was small and fairly tucked away, I think about 150 librarians ended up visiting. Maybe more because this morning there was a big crowd because Seattle author Laura Kvasnosky, who had just won the second-ever Geisel Award for her book "Zelda and Ivy: Runaways", happened to be scheduled to sign there right after the announcements.