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Sunday, November 17, 2013

The AASL Experience

I realize I haven't posted much here lately, but that doesn't mean there isn't a lot going on in the literary realm of my life.

This past week, I survived my first AASL (American Association of School Librarians) conference, as it only comes around every two years and I have been with my company, Peachtree Publishers, for a little over a year now. It was in Hartford, CT, which is beautiful this time of year--I hope to go back sometime to visit Mark Twain's house and see a few other attractions

Every time I go to these conferences, I am always surrounded by the best people who share a passion for books and children's literature. Librarians truly understand the value of teaching kids the importance and love of reading--not just to meet school standards or follow some political agenda, but because it opens up new worlds and inspires creativity in young minds.

I also got to sit on my first Storytelling festival, featuring Carol Birch, Valeria Tutson, and Bill Harley (who is absolutely hilarious and is the author of several Peachtree titles). To see the kind of fervor and adoration for literature that these storytellers have is uplifting, so I encourage anyone who knows about Storytelling festivals in their area to go check them out.

Please, please support your libraries and school reading programs. It's easy in our fast-paced, overworked lives to forget how crucial these institutions are, but stories shape our beliefs and our society. They preserve the best values of humanity, and help our children to grow into the smart, creative individuals that will change our world for the better.

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