I was off to the ALA–the American Library Association’s annual conference–this last weekend, and what a change from the last ALA I attended back in 2010. That last was right when the economy had taken its steep nosedive, and of course the first fundings to be cut were the ones for libraries. Back then, everyone wandered around looking shellshocked and dazed, and I remember anxiously pressing books on librarians who didn’t seem sure they were going to be librarians much longer.
But this ALA was hopping. It was hopping, and vibrant, and buzzing, and clearly on the move.There were so many YOUNG librarians, and librarian wannabes just out of graduate school absolutely giddy with delight at the idea of their coming career. Especially librarians for children and teens. I was on a panel Saturday morning directed at just these librarians: CROSSING OVER: TEEN BOOKS FOR EVERYONE (the only small press there), emceed by the book-loving Barbara Hoffert, a Library Journal editor, and I talked about how I think EAP was actually formed in my experiences with my favorite neighborhood library when I was a child. It was the Richmond District branch in San Francisco, which had a children’s library downstairs, door facing west, and the adult library upstairs, door facing east. To get from one to the other, you had to race up and down a grassy hill. I remember lugging books from one library up to the other to get books THERE. And all of my History of Arcadia books, and all of EAP books, really, are nothing more than an attempt to build a secret spiral staircase inside from the children’s library to the adult, so any reader can move back and forth at their ease.
Gerry Donaghy, the new books purchasing supervisor at Powell’s books (and all ’round cool person) said it best. He said EAP books are ‘for the precocious inner child in everybody.’
Well, we hope so.
There is a lot in this Summer 2013: MONSTERS issue of the magazine for precocious inner children of all ages, too. Check out Timothy J. Myers’ version of a particularly evil one: this monster takes all the joy of living out of your heart, makes you hate your life and your family, makes you yearn for something you can’t have. No, it’s not television. It’s The Draug, THE FISHERMAN AND THE DRAUG. And our favorite young EAP writer who we’re watching grow with real joy (the Draug not having gotten to us yet), is Kelsy Liu, so read her beyond creepy tale, CRAWL.
And it’s gardening time. Resident EAP gardening expert Debbie Naples questions just what exactly are MONSTERS IN THE GARDEN?
Welcome back (and special welcome to any librarians out there, too!).