Texas Library Conference
There has never been a better time to be a teacher, librarian, student, writer. Books abound all around us. Some books are for the sole purpose of entertaining us, while others fill our minds with knowledge and wonder. I like to picture books (no pun intended) as gardens. The more we read them, the faster our knowledge grows. Books stretch our minds all the way up to the sky. At the Texas Library Conference, I had the opportunity to find out what books would make my garden grow bigger and faster.
What struck me first as I entered the exhibit hall at this year’s conference, was the number of teenage girls swarming the George R. Brown Convention Center. They stood in long lines to get free books autographed by their favorite authors. Guess what most of the books were about? If you said vampires, you’re correct! I did a quick search on Amazon just to find out how many books about vampires are being released in 2009. The result – over 100! Yikes, that’s a lot of vampire stories.
While I observed these teenage girls flock to the next author signing, I wondered where the teenage boys were? Wouldn’t it be grand to write a book that boys would stand in line for? What kind of book would steal a teenage boy’s attention away from his video game console for an hour or two? What kind of book would motivate boys to stand in line until midnight? How about a nonfiction series on blood-sucking creatures? Ooh, I’ll have to research that idea.
The Texas Library Conference was a blast! I got all kind of freebies like books, pens, bookmarks, and book bags. As a writer, I had the opportunity to speak with sales reps and editors and get their feedback on what subjects teachers and librarians are asking for. Biographies and science won hands down. I also got the chance to check out books from some of my favorite publishers like ABDO, Capstone, Black Rabbit Books, Sylvan Dell, Bearport, and Bellwether (just to name a few). I believe that nonfiction publishers for the education market are becoming more innovative, creative, and up-to-date with thier vast array of new titles and series.
Yes, there has never been a better time to be a teacher, librarian, student, or writer.