Wednesday, June 07, 2006

RILA Conference

Yes, it was almost a week ago now, but I will still chime in and mention how much I enjoyed it.

One of the highlights was getting to meet Jessamyn West. I was really bummed to have missed her presentation last year, so I made sure that I was able to attend this time. Her talk was great, and then we got to hang out, eat cheese, drink wine, and watch the "other" librarians learn to bellydance. Looked like fun, but, believe me, no one wants to see me bellydance.

An unexpected treat was the featured speaker, Michael Sullivan. I just have to gush for a moment: I absolutely LOVED his talk! His "radical" ideas for public libraries were, in my opinion, right on the money - though I don't think my view was shared by all. It was actually almost as much fun to watch the faces of the people in the audience - they pretty much ranged from "Right on!" to "Shut the Hell up, you nut case." Heh.

I, personally, plan to implement his "no collection development plan," to a degree, in the YA department. Basically, Sullivan advocates the use of a book list, which is distributed to patrons, and he buys according to patron requests. While I don't think I can get away with that system completely, at least not right away, I will be developing lists from now on and basing more of my buying on YA requests, rather than just relying on School Library Journal (and a handful of YA review blogs) for reviews. I can't wait to see how it works. I plan to use YALit a lot in this venture.

Oh, yeah, just because I feel I should keep my readers slightly entertained, I'll tell you this slightly embarrassing factoid: I pretty much professed my burgeoning love for Mr. Sullivan, um, yes, directly to him, after his talk. In front of other people. I think the exact quote was, "I think I love you." Thankfully he responded with a great big laugh and said, "Well then, it was all worth it!" Yes, yes indeed.

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