News & EventsBook Verdict
Back from Philly
Written by Deborah B. Ford
October 29, 2012
It looks like I got back from Philadelphia just in time to catch the first snow of the season in Ohio. This California girl is grossly unprepared for the chill of the winter. Luckily I didn’t really need a coat this weekend for the SLJ Leadership Summit. (unless you count the ballroom which was conference-style chilly-brr!)
About 200 librarians attended the Summit this year. Vendors had booths that ringed the table area in the master ballroom. I really enjoyed talking about JLG and my “conversion” with the attendees. I saw old friends and made new ones. Rumor has it that my boots were quite “twitter-worthy.” I am still amazed at the number of people who don’t know very much about what Junior Library Guild offers. I spent a great deal of time telling people about how I became a JLG convert and listening to what people need.
I held a focus group before the Summit began and gathered some great ideas for webinars, blog posts and professional development trainings. During the main sessions un-presenters directed conversations at tables where librarians in-the-know exchanged ideas and developed new ones. We attended breakout sessions to learn about how to create a marketing tweet or how to create an award winning library.
One of my favorite sessions was an author panel of nonfiction writers. They talked about their writing process and how their books connect to the CCSS. I was happy to see that all four of the authors belong to the JLG family. Thanks to their publishers, all attendees received a copy of their books. After an autographing session, once you had videotaped your favorite Caldecott winner, we went to the roof. The cocktail party on the roof featured an amazing view of the Free Library (where they have the only complete collection of Children’s Book Week posters) and a brief talk by Caldecott artist, David Wiesner (who illustrated the 2012 CBW poster).
At the end of the Summit, the sponsors of the event participated in a panel. Joyce Valenza asked us questions and we tried to give quick answers. As it was my first time on the other side of the table, I found it to be especially interesting. No sales pitches were given and I think folks came away knowing what most of us know in our heart of hearts: Real people own and sell the products we need. They believe in what they sell. They continue to adapt what they offer to meet our ever-changing needs. They listen to us. Now that, is a good sales pitch to me.
Oh! And I did just fine too.