My Nashville/Chicago Library/Comics trip of 2020!

Last week my lovely library sent me to Nashville to attend the PLA Conference and Chicago to attend the Librarian and Educator Day at C2E2. Woof, what a time I had. Not only did I meet some amazing librarians and library staff from Nashville, Chicago, and beyond, but I got to attend some incredibly enlightening sessions. Plus, I had the honor of assisting the Collaborative Pop-Up Library at C2E2.

Firstly, it was my first time in Nashville, and it is quite a place. It’s not just Music City with fabulous food, museums dedicated to musicians, and hopping bars featuring live music that annoys the piss out of me, it’s also the Athens of the South, a city with a penchant for higher learning, a powerful library system, and an awe-inspiring Parthenon. That library, though, especially the main branch, is worth the trip to Nashville alone. It has a special Civil Rights collection that will move you to tears, and impressive children’s, maker space, and computer areas.

Secondly, at the PLA Conference, I attended wonderful sessions on leadership (which included meeting librarians from Kenya and Sierra Leone), on the so-called “library of things,” on doing diversity audits of collections, on the ever-changing world of library eBooks, and more. That’s not to mention all the fabulous ARCs and gadgets at the Exhibition and hearing the moving and inspiring words of Stacey Abrams. Oh, and thanks to our friends at Midwest Tape and OverDrive, I got to experience some of the Nashville nightlife and had (unspeakable) fun.

Speaking of unspeakable fun, I flew from Nashville to Chicago where I spent the weekend. At the Librarian and Educator Day at C2E2, I had helped organize the creator visits to the Pop-Up Library. The booth had literally hundreds of visitors in just the first day, and it was in a prime real-estate spot, very close to the Marvel booth, actually! And all because of the very hardworking members of the GNCRT, one in particular named Natalie. The sessions here included a keynote by Dr. Carol Tilley, a panel about the future of queer comics, and more.

This was my first PLA, and it may be my last for quite some time (though PLA will be coming to Columbus, OH in 2024, just two hours away). But I hope I get the opportunity to help the C2E2 Pop-Up Library yet again next year. One last thing…I’m now the proud owner of the first appearance of the librarian superhero, Barbara Gordon AKA Batgirl!

It’s mine! The vendor gave me a good deal on it for being a librarian!

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