For me, the Colorado Association of Libraries 2012 Conference (CALCon) was especially geek-tastic. Not because of the other conference attendees, but because of two of the keynote speakers. I completely and utterly geeked out when I was able to meet one of my favorite bloggers and one of my favorite authors.
Jack Gantos has been publishing books since 1976. He writes picture books, children's books, YA lit and adult books. He's funny, quirky and smart. He's like the Johnny Cash of the literary world - minus the scary mean side. His novel, Dead End in Norvelt won the Newberry Award last year, and it is fantastic - funny, inspiring and meaningful. I can't think of a single student who wouldn't love this book.
|See? We're bffs.|
|Explaining how "librarians are like constellations"|
Gantos also does school visits where he teaches creative writing. He explained that writing really isn't that difficult. There are two steps: figuring out what you want to say it, and then figuring out how to actually say it. However, since most students can stare at a blank piece of paper and just wish the words would appear, he often encourages them to draw a spy map of their house.
|The spy map of the Gantos home|
Gantos saved all the journals he's written since 5th grade - and he explained that many of the ideas for his books come from things he wrote in his journals over the years.
The other person I had the honor of meeting and hearing speak (twice) was Bobbi Newman. She's a firecracker - and not just because of her hair. She truly is a library innovator: she maintains a blog called Librarian By Day that always tackles and faces big library issues (intellectual freedom, access, the changing face of libraries), and she has a great voice. She's funny and inspiring. I'm a huge fan.
|My library hero|