3rd Annual Kidlitosphere Conference
Before this year I was a good pookie. I went to two TWO, I SAY KidLitosphere Conferences: One in Chicago and one in Portland, Oregon. And they were magnificent. If you are at all interested in the children’s literary blogosphere, where it’s going, where it’s been, and what it means to the future of literary criticism and publishing, this the place to be. And the crazy this is that there is only a single week remaining to register for the Kidlitosphere Conference on October 17th in Washington, DC, and to get the great rate offered by the Sheraton Crystal City Hotel. Many have registered, but more should do so. MotherReader’s Pam Coughlan is organizing this dig of a shin and doing a stand-up job. To get it off the ground she has even created a meme. I don’t normally do them, but this seems important. After all, I cannot attend this year due to something relatively massive sitting on my plate. But in answer to her questions:
Why did you decide to attend the KidLitosphere Conference?
Geez. It was a long time ago that I decided to go to the first one. I guess I decided to go because (A) it was in Chicago and that was convenient and (B) it would give me a chance to better know a community of folks that, until that point, I saw only as electronic blips on a screen. After I went to the first one and was blown away by the professionalism of the experience I simply had to go to the second. It was magnificent all the way around. The crazy thing is that apparently my blog was already on SLJ by the time the first conference came around. Feels longer ago than that. And I’ve just found an old post of mine documenting my desperate search for cheap plane tickets. Wacky.
Who was most like their blog? Who was least like their blog?
Put me on the spot! Hmmm. Well, Pam was certainly MotherReader embodied, that’s for sure. Funny but with an undercurrent to her that will tell you the truth if you ask for it. But since my memory is a creaky old sieve I may have met her at a librarian conference before that. I’ll eschew saying who was most and least like their blogs and just repeat my observances from conference #1:
"Did you know that Kelly Herold bears a striking resemblance to a young Judy Blume?
Did you know that at times Robin Brande has the voice of Jennifer Aniston?
Did you know that they sell wine in Target stores in Illinois?"
Now you do.
What surprised you at the conference?
I think the fact that everybody in the Kidlitosphere is as sane as they are is always a pleasant surprise. You expect that with a bunch of people blogging about literature for the young, odds are there’d be at least one nutjob. We appear to be nutjobless, however. The position is open. I’m not sure how that happened, but there you go. We are a community without a significant nut. Just intelligent, thoughtful people who continually strive for transparency and legitimacy. Makes me proud to be a part of them, it does.
What will you always remember about the last conference?
I believe that Gregory K completely "won" the last conference. Not that everyone else didn’t do a stand-up job, but ladies and gentlemen you have not lived until you’ve sat in on one of Greg’s sessions regarding promoting yourself and your site. He started The Happy Accident not a moment too soon. He’s one of our best kept secrets.
Did you blog about the conference?
Blog it? Honey, that’s just the half of it. Of course I did a cursory round-up in 2007. But I video blogged last year’s. There was an introduction to Portland and their library. There was fashion week. I was interviewed in sock puppet form. And then there were my print summaries here and here. Geez… that was all so much fun. It’s all coming back to me. Aw, I wanna do it again! Next year. I promise. But go have fun where I cannot. Kidlitosphere Conference 2009! Do it for me.
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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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