Reporting: The Rutgers One-on-One Conference (Part Two)
(CONTINUED FROM PART ONE) The five-on-five came next. I tried sneaking onto a table that merely had four-on-four (four mentors and four mentees) but my sneakiness was put to pasture when two more people were sent to sit with us. Ah well. I didn’t feel quite brave enough to join the table with Gail Carson Levine. Perhaps another year. My table was the best of the all the other tables anyway, so neener neener.
Oh. Can I interrupt to say something about Rutgers? It’s a cool campus, but it kinda freaked me out a little. I mean, I graduated from my own alma mater (Fight fight inner light, kill, Quakers, kill!) seven years ago and I would have assumed that little about college life would have changed in the interim. Because we were in one of the cultural centers, however, I got to walk past The Game Room. The Game Room had many many computer games, includes three (count ’em) three different versions of Dance Dance Revolution. The head, she spins. And then she wants to dance.
Back again. The day ended with a lovely little speech by Ann M. Martin. I’d seen her speak at Bookfest a couple years ago, and while the tenor of the speech didn’t change much, the content had been updated. Ms. Martin discussed her new series (Main Street) and her graphic novel version of The Babysitters Club. Interestingly, we learned that Scholastic hired a psychologist for Ms. Martin so that when she answers letters from children in tough situations she has someone to consult with. Downright decent of them, eh? I had not heard of her foundations before either, and apparently she has two. There is the Ann M. Martin Foundation, which, "provides financial support to causes benefiting children, education, literacy programs, and homeless people and animals. The foundation funds small programs, or portions of programs, that are hard to fund." There is also The Lisa Libraries foundation which takes new and unused children’s books and gives them to shelters, day care centers, after-school programs, and other organizations "helping children in under-served areas." A darn good idea, that.
And then we were done. The next day found me working a library table at the New York Times Great Children’s Read, but that’s a story for another day. In any case, it was a full little week-end. If you are a budding author or illustrator and would like to participate in the conference next year, keep your eyes peeled and watch this site for updates.
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About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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