Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.

2006-11-10

World Fantasy Convention report

I spent this last weekend in Austin, TX at the World Fantasy Convention. While there was much partying and discussion of all things science fiction and fantasy, a few things happened that were pertient to the library world.

First, I spent much of the weekend extolling the virtues of libraries to authors and editors alike. Since I am do science fiction collection development, many people asked me how I select which items to add to the collection. This was great since I was able to talk about environmental scanning and how you get to know your patrons to learn what kinds of books they read. Or as Sophie would say, I learn the pop culture of my patrons to decide what authors to carry. Then, after you've kept up with what you know they like, you try something new. Sometimes you get burned, sometimes you hit gold.

Second, I got to sit with editor Jennifer Heddle and talk about one of the new MTV books that is coming out next year: Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Weiss. It's about a girl whose abusive father was supposed to be in jail until she was 18, but he got released on good behavior and is coming home. It sounds like a great book. I'll certainly be adding it to my collection. I have a number of the MTV books in my YA collection, and they do really well. This book is a little departure from the normal MTV book design, but I don't think my teens are checking out the books becase of what they look like.

World Fantasy is a strange convention in that it's almost like a trade show. The people who go to it are mostly professionals in the field. There aren't a lot of fans, so in some way the general tremor of excitement that makes up a typical science fiction convention is missing, but there's a consenual comraderie that pervades World Fantasy that is a lot of fun.

Oh, one of the coolest things about the convention was getting to chat with Holly Black for a little about the Spiderwick movies that are coming out next year. She's seen some early production photos, and she's really excited about it. At the same time, she said it still feels a little surreal that something's actually happening. They're making one movie out of all the books, so any of your patrons who are fans of the books are sure to love this movie.

JK

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