Monday, September 28, 2015

Tennessee Association of School Librarians Conference 2015

Generally speaking, southerners are welcoming. Librarians are warm. So southern librarians are the human equivalent of apple pie.

I was reminded of this in full force on 9/26/15, when I delivered a keynote and breakout sessions at the Tennessee Association of School Librarians Conference.

This conference marked several firsts for me (beyond it being my first time in Murfreesboro). It was the first time I…

  • signed the cover of one of my books, by request
  • offered a discounted visit for the next school day, meaning Monday (meaning any interested school would have to arrange/contact her/his principal/PTA over the weekend)
  • told a conference crowd my Bill Finger story with the new, more uplifting ending (after being introduced by Batman himself...and on International Batman Day, no less!)

A selection of reactions to my presentations:

It was also the first time I encountered a librarian with the following great idea. First, the background.

In one of my TASL talks, I explained how a Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman spread my editor showed me in the penultimate layout stage was in full color, but ended up in black and white in the finished product—changed without consulting me. Unfortunately, that was a goof—that spread depicts (what is implied to be) the first movie appearance of Superman, circa early 1940s, and while I can understand why someone would assume a film of that period should therefore be in black and white, it was actually in vivid Technicolor.

I mentioned this to demonstrate the level of accuracy I strive for.

A librarian sympathetic to this situation said she is going to color-copy the correct spread and attach it to her library copy of Boys of Steel with an explanation, so kids will learn of the error—and part of the process of making a picture book. Though this was a relatively small oversight, it obviously bothered me, and now it makes for a great teachable moment. If this librarian shares photos of this with me, I will in turn share them here.

Thank you again to the delightful Mindy Nichols for the TASL invitation.

Thank you also to the attendees for your attention and enthusiasm. I’ll come back anytime!

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