Saturday, October 17, 2009


At the close of the intense, day-long meeting organizer Pam Coughlan (Mother Reader) thanked the librarians who were in the audience in particular for taking a leap of faith and attending the third annual Kidlitopshere Conference. It was a very different sort of event for me, but almost relaxing to be a spectator in this world. When I step back and think about it, perhaps the very fact that this sort of online content -- all related to and derived from print, for the most part -- is being produced by an engaged group of individuals is really remarkable. These bloggers are grappling with all sorts of ethical and practical matters related to what often stared out as a very private passion. Perhaps that in itself rather indicative of life in the 21st century. And as someone (I am sorry I can't tell you who) from the closing panel noted, none of these books were written for us.

If there was a theme of the day, I would think it was overlap and connection -- authors interacting with readers online and the growing social networking imperative, librarians who read and write reviews, the bloggers whose work benefits librarians doing selection and literacy advocates. I expected to hear more about the blog creation stories, the impetus between this devotion to what is usually unrenumerative and sometimes stressful manifestation of one's reaction to literature online. That aspect of the process was eclipsed by talk about search engine optimization and FTC disclosure, and the careful negotiation in writing a review that was less than entirely favorable while still preserving the good graces of the author. There was also a lot of talk about participation in memes, blog tours, and other programatic elements which link blogs together.

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