Here’s Part 2!  I went offline while I was staying with the Master Sergeant’s parents.  They are wonderful hosts and made my sniffly self very welcome.  I noticed, when I got home on Monday, that it felt as though I had been away far longer than 2 days for having been offline during that time.  How to extend your vacation through lack of technological devices…a future idea to examine.

Anywho, back to Saturday afternoon.  When last we left our intrepid hedgehog, she was off in search of tissues and armed with directions from author Steve Brezenoff to a pharmacy for better sinus clearing medication.

The last two sessions of the day were about the emerging changes in school/library visits by authors.  Nancy Carlson was there–insert a bit of fan girl moment here! I’m not a huge picture book reader but it was Nancy Carlson! Cool! She shared with us her first author visit–a small library where no one showed up, and where she thought she might be off the hook until a busload of senior citizens arrived with her as the afternoon entertainment.

Most authors visits still come through word of mouth, though that mouth is expanding to tweets, blogs, etc… Another story Nancy shared was about how mentioning a trip to Maine for an author visit turned into a ten day tour down the North East coast.  Nick at joined us via Skype, demonstrating that technology from Montreal and talking about how author visits can come via Skype and how teachers/librarians can use resources such as his site to get pre-taped videos in advance or in substitute or addition to a school visit so kids can connect more with the authors their reading about.

One of the new things with author visits that was hit on was how now we have to be concerned about whether or not it is okay to take pictures of kids. Schools now have various forms that are usually filled out in advance.  At a library visit, because it tends to be public, parents can have the okay–still it can be a gray area.  This is something librarians can plan in advance so they have kids who can be photographed and included on the authors blog.  The idea of photographing a bulletin board relating to the author that the kids created was also a way to include the kids without showing actual pictures of them.

Our final session talked about the creation of the Kidlitosphere and the Cybils.  We got a quick history of the kidlitosphere, including creation of the word. We heard who some of the heavy hitters were–I added a few names to the RSS feeds (Children’s Literacy: Scrub a Dub Tub; Cynsations for author interviews).  I didn’t realize there was a Yahoo! Group specifically for the kidlitosphere.  I may peruse though I’m not sure I’ll be an active participant at the moment.

The Cybils were most interesting.  The award was described as the “Organic Chicken Nugget” award for children’s literature–really taking into account what was child friendly as well as well written, rather than trying to lean on one or the other.  This year they saw the number of people volunteering to be judges jump to twice their actual need but those of us interested in the future are encouraged to apply. One can follow along on Twitter or Facebook too.  There are two rounds of judging: the short list and the winners. The short list sounds like the Newbery work–read ALL these wonderful books and pick the best five.  Intimidating amounts of reading, eh?  But hey, gets us into the lit of the year right? And it gives librarians a small list to run down and see if we’ve got all of them….Speaking of that backlist blogging…

Then was wrap up, announcement of locations of 2011 (Seattle) and 2012 (NYC).

I pinned Liz Burns at the end of the day and we had a nice chat about the infamous SLJ cover.  And then I was back onto I94, managing to miss both Presidential and Viking traffic!