Once a year, for three days, Jacob Javits Center is home to Book Expo America. This event, for booksellers, authors, publishers, bloggers, and librarians is a way to network, attend educational sessions, get autographed copies of books, and see what’s getting published for the rest of the year.
The publishers don’t allow you to only see the upcoming books, but take home Advanced Reader Copies of said books. I take these as prizes for my summer reading club teens (though a few end up in my own personal connection). I bring a suitcase each day and fill it. By the end of the four days, I filled six tote bags of books to use as prizes. I am going to have some very happy teens!
The day before BEA starts, School Library Journal offers a Day of Dialog. This year, it was held at the Faculty House at Columbia University. I’ve always wanted to go, but never had the chance to before. I am so glad I finally went. It was a wonderful day of panel presentations by authors and illustrators on different topics. Though the day was very long, I enjoyed hearing why the authors wrote what they did. The only thing I would change is the seating. I mean, for a fancy university, you would think Columbia would give this place better chairs. They were torturous. My back was in agony by the end of the day.
I attended two great conferences while at BEA; one on the Common Core and one presentation by Neil Gaiman. It was really interesting to hear educators, publishers, and booksellers viewpoints on the Common Core and what libraries can do to support it. I’ve been a fan of Neil Gaiman for awhile and went just to hear him speak. This is the second time I’ve seen him and he never disappoints.
Though going four days in a row was tiring and expensive, I had a great time this year. I am most likely skipping it next year to attend ALA in Las Vegas, but I was glad to see it has one more year in NY before moving to Chicago in 2016.