For a brief 48 hours, I sojourned ALONE to the scarily fast-paced pre-Superbowl frenzy'd DFW area so that I could participate in the Cowtown Book Festival, and then fall down, prostrate, on my sister's living room floor and watch 30 Rock until unconsciousness overcame me.
It was lovely.
This was the first time I've ever left all three kids and taken a short adventure of my own. The book festival was great fun – and just low key enough to ease my way back into a world of mostly grown-up-ish-type-people.
Besides eating BBQ and listening to Lady Gaga and signing books and getting some blisters, I got to sit on a panel of other middle grade and YA authors and answer questions from librarians. I have to tell you – it is just so.much.fun to do things like that. Co-mingling children's book writers and school librarians is like a big, geeky explosion of book nerd fun.
And this trip was especially important as the State of Texas does its best to destroy libraries and librarians – not just at school district levels, but at a state level, too. These kinds of get-togethers show the passion and the numbers behind the support of books and libraries. It is immediately evident that a librarian is not just a person who scans a book and scolds you for being noisy. A librarian is more like a highly educated personified Swiss army knife of a person. A book buyer, a researcher, a teacher, an IT whiz, a mentor, and so much more.
I guess it can be easy to lose sight of the importance of libraries to those of us who are surrounded by google all day. But don't be fooled – a library is the heart of a community. And even as the world shifts into an electronic mode of Kindles and wikipedia, a library can – and will – still thrive.
So here's to you, Region XI librarians of the State of Texas. And librarians everywhere.
You are vital not just to our school children, but to our communities as a whole.
And you also know how to point a girl towards some good Fort Worth BBQ.