Monday, April 9, 2018

Recap of TLA Dallas: AKA Librarianpalooza, Texas Style

Me, at the T&P Station, 6:20am, April 4, 2018
This last week I was off campus, hanging out with librarians for the Texas Library Association Annual Conference in Dallas. I love attending TLA every year. This is the first year in the last 8 that I haven’t been on a committee, or in charge of a committee. It’s so strange to walk in and not have to check how much time I have until my first meeting, or what sessions I really have to give up because I have to be at the ceremony. I get to just enjoy the conference. The most difficult part of the entire conference was getting on the TRE train at the T&P Station every day at 6:20am to make sure I arrived at Dallas Union Station by 7:30am. I don’t think I caffeinated enough before I got on the train!

Being around literary folk—big name literary folk— always has an affect on me. Going to sessions where professional writers talk about their craft and influences just does something. I get the tingling of creativity pulsing through the air. I’m not sure if this is just a writer thing, or if everyone gets it, but it’s a great burst of energy. I spent most of my lunches doing research on a young adult historical (maybe paranormal) mystery series that I had thought up several years ago, but filed it away. I just have to keep the mojo going after the conference. The fact that I don’t have other distractions at the moment will make this an experience that I hope to carry over for the rest of the year.

Oh, and I learned some great library things, as well. I don’t want to discount that at all, but my library has been in a transition this year since we quit doing AR cold turkey and I’m still trying to find my groove to make programming mine. The best takeaway so far has been Adulting 101, where several high school librarians created groups at their schools to teach students skills that they need to know either for college or adulthood, but just haven’t been taught at home. I’m definitely taking that back to my campus!

If anything, attending TLA inspires dreaming in me. I dream of a better library. I dream of my own books I will write. I dream of someday being one of those authors up on the stage or in the signing line, having an audience who loves my stories as much as I do.

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