Where Does the Time Go?

Oh, the end of the year has been busy. I took a little unplanned break from blogging. Once you get out of the habit of doing it, for a few days, it’s easy for it to slide into several weeks. What’s worse is that when I am that busy, it usually means that I have lots I would love to blog about. Oh, irony, you are cruel. So since things have finally calmed down and I’m looking to get back on track for the new year, I thought I’d start with an overview of the end of 2014.

In November I went to the YALSA Lit Symposium. I drove all the way down to Austin with our new teen librarian, and it was so much fun (well, not the driving, but the being in Austin). It was a jam-packed weekend full of catching up with lots of other librarians, attending sessions, drinks and food, meeting authors, and of course, books. I wrote about the two queer-focused panels for YALSA’s The Hub.

It is amazing to contrast my experience from just two years previously attending my first YA Lit Symposium with this most recent trip. I’d only been working in a library for about six months at that time and I hardly knew anyone and had no clue what to expect. This time I felt like an old pro, after attending larger conferences like BEA and ALA Annual and generally being more connected and comfortable in my profession.

The Lit Symposium is by far my favorite conference to attend. It’s wonderful to meet so many people who are as passionate about teen services and YA literature. I also got to visit Austin’s local independent bookstore, Book People, and catch up with my best friend for an hour or so. I loved the extensive YA section and basically forced my friend to buy Saga by Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughn.

I also got to see Tessa Gratton, Maggie Stiefvater, and Brenna Yovanoff at the Johnson County Library in November. They are the best author trio to have at an author event. We’d had them at my library for the release of The Merry Sisters of Fate, and it still felt like a fresh and inspiring talk.

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Not long after the Lit Symposium, I went with my sister to visit my brother in LA over Thanksgiving. It was great to spend some time with just my siblings and get a week of California sun.

Palm trees, long walks and discovering little free libraries, my super secret had to sign a non-disclosure agreement tour of Dreamworks (where my brother works). Lots of whiskey and wine and a trip to the Getty and a spa. It was an amazing week.

Then it was December, and the holidays were upon us. This means a busy time at work with end of the year spending and budget planning for the new year, planning programs, and building book trees.IMG_1640

I’m very excited about some new developments at work.

I’m starting a YA for Grownups book club.

My teen book club as been selected to be a YALSA’s Teens’ Top Ten nominating group.

The teen librarian and I are also starting a YouTube club using our Sound + Vision Studio, and we’ve also started filming our own videos.

For the first time, we’re doing a teen title for Read Across Lawrence, and so we’ll be giving away hundreds of copies of Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley and doing all sorts of fun programming tied in with the book (in addition to doing Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale for our adult selection).

I’m doing a Harry Potter Night program with the youth services manager.

We got a TEDx license and are doing a youth event.

Basically, all the fun is happening at work.

But December wasn’t just busy at work. My brother got married (!) and we had one of his groomsmen, a foreign exchange student from Germany who lived with us in high school, staying with us for the wedding and Christmas. It was basically the busiest but best time ever.

Despite all the excitement, I have been reading a ton of books, and have many reviews I’m excited to share now that I’m back in the swing of blogging. graydots

What’s new with you? How was your holiday season? What have you been reading? Let me know in the comments! Share blog posts I may have missed! 

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