I recently attended a regional conference for school librarians that has changed my life and, unwittingly, the lives of my family members.
Keynote speaker, Shannon McClintock Miller, challenged the other members of the audience and I to utilize the technology at our fingertips to do what the library has always done – connect readers to new people, places, and ideas. Throughout her engaging presentation, she managed to casually mention the names of some of my biggest author crushes as she described her social media interactions while managing to maintain her wholesome, Midwest persona.
Why hadn’t I done this? Why hadn’t I connected with or even attempted to connect with the people whose books inspire me, my children, and my students each and every day?
Like many out there, I’m a bit of a social media junkie. I often begin and end my days with Facebook. Twitter and Instagram are downloaded to my iPhone, though Snapchat is a bit too “youthful” for this over-30 mother-of-two. Why was I wasting my time browsing the posts of people I never talked to in high school when I could be swooning over picture book authors?
And that’s when the conference fell apart for me and I began to find my biblio|parenting voice.
Instead of giving my complete and total attention to the session speakers (as I would ask of my students), I began obsessively searching Facebook for authors to friend (the verb).
Why was I doing this?
At first, I’ll admit, I was on a bit of a Facebook-stalking kind-of high. Librarian searching skills do apply to social media too, you know…
Then, I made an actual connection.
Thank you, author Nina Laden, for taking a chance on a random friend request and opening a line of communication…
I had connected. With an actual author.
The overexcited fangirl in me squee-ed!!!
And then, the adult took over. I had accomplished my goal. Now what?