Monday, June 4, 2012

Armchair BEA: Self-introduction

Book Expo America, a huge publishing event, is happening in New York this week. Many of us who can't be there are participating in Armchair BEA, a week-long virtual book blogging event that provides a little of the BEA fun for those living vicariously. I felt a renewed sense of community and energy for blogging when I participated in last year's Armchair BEA, and I'm excited to take part again. All this week, I'll be sharing themed posts and trying my best to visit other book blogs.

The Armchair BEA folks have asked us all to kick things off by doing a self-introduction, and provided some great questions to get the ball rolling. So without further ado, here's a little about me...

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

If you're visiting my blog for the first time, thanks for stopping by!  I'm Allison, a teen services librarian in Southern California. I'm also a wife, and the mother of a 3.5 and 1.5 year old. 

I'm active in the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), a division of the American Library Association. I'm currently the chair of YALSA's Conference Marketing and Local Arrangements Committee and I've just started blogging for The Hub, YALSA's YA literature blog.

I also review books and apps for School Library Journal, and I co-host Authors are ROCKSTARS!, a YA literature podcast focused on author interviews.

I've been blogging for about a year and a half. I got into it because I thought it would be a casual, fun extension of my professional life-- I am passionate about youth literature, and love connecting readers with the right book. Why not blog about it?

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

At the moment, I'm finishing up Moonglass, by Jessi Kirby. Her writing is so gorgeous, I want to live in it. And I can never, ever choose just one favorite book. I can try to narrow it down, but that's as far as I can go! My top three of 2012 so far:

Oh, but how could I not mention The Mighty Miss Malone, by Christopher Paul Curtis?? See..? Can't possibly choose just one.

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

During last year's Armchair BEA, I was interviewed by the lovely Leah at Amused by Books, and I mentioned one non-book-related thing I was really hoping to do was take ballet classes. I've taken ballet on and off over the years, and thought it would be ultimate accomplishment to get back into it after having two kids. Not that I'm particularly good at ballet, mind you-- but I just love it. And I felt that taking ballet classes again would be like a sign that I have my life totally together.

Well, I'm not sure if I have my life totally together, but I am proud to say that I've been taking ballet since January! So I must be doing all right. I'm definitely having fun, in any case!

Which is your favorite post that you have written that you want everyone to read?

5 Ways Libraries Can Be Like Nordstrom

As a librarian who works extensively with the public, excellent service is very, very important to me. When I'm outside the library, I value being the recipient of good customer service, and Nordstrom is store that consistently provides me with positive experiences. I think libraries can emulate Nordstrom-style service to provide a welcoming atmosphere for our patrons. So I blogged about it!

What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?

Betsy's Hill Street house
Betsy's house
Photo © bonnyglen, aka author Melissa Wiley

The Betsy-Tacy houses in Mankato, Minnesota! I've been fortunate enough to make pilgrimages to Green Gables and Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House, but I have yet to see the real life "Deep Valley" of Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy series, which are among my favorite books in the world.

There's a Betsy-Tacy Convention in Mankato this summer, which would be great opportunity to finally see the houses. Alas, I won't be able to make it... but it's sure to be amazing!

Thanks so much for reading my self-introduction. I'm looking forward to getting to know more of you in the book blogging community this week!


  1. your little one in pic with you is a real cutie pie! I love that you are so passionate about helping young readers find books they love. I taught middle school English for years and read to my own daughters from conception (yep, read to them in utero)...they all love to read, especially daughter #1! nice to meet you!

  2. Great answers. Looking forward to reading the rest of your posts this week. Here's a link to my intro -

  3. Great interview! Shadow and Bone is a book that I've been wanting to read for some time now.
    Have a great week at BEA

    My Intro

  4. Allison - I had no idea there were actual Betsy and Tacy houses!! OK- this is going on the bucket list! I LOVED those books as a kid!

    BTW, I have a 2012 Book Pilgrimage Challenge at my site :)

  5. Loved your intro! I just bought Shadow and Bone last night! Can't wait for it to get here so I can read it. I just checked In Honor out from my library, and I think it's going to be an amazing read. There's just something about working in a library, surrounded by all these great books, that makes me so happy!

    Joy @ Book Lagniappe - My Intro

  6. A charming blog. I enjoyed my visit!


  7. Hi Allison. You have just gained a new reader because I know I would love your blog. You're pretty much living the life I want in the future. I want to be a teen librarian and my boyfriend has been working in Santa Barbara so it's very possible I could end up there. I'll be back!

  8. I keep hearing good things about Shadow and Bone, I'm going to have to read it soon. Hope you have a wonderful week.

  9. I'm a teen librarian too - but I'm in Missouri! :) I've been thinking about joining Yalsa but I haven't made the plunge yet. It would definitely be handy - so lovely your a part of a wonderful organization :)

    It was so nice to meet you! Armchair BEA @ the Brunette Librarian

  10. I'm currently reading In Honor and I want to read Code Name Verity.
    It's so great to meet you!!
    Hope you have a great Armchair BEA week!
    Here's my post:

    xo Stephanie

  11. Hi Allison! It's nice to meet you. This is my first armchair bea, and I can already tell that like you, I'm going to want to do it again.

    That's awesome that you're taking ballet classes. As someone who can't walk across a flat surface without tripping, I'm impressed.

    If you have the time, I’d love to hear from you at my armchair BEA post.

  12. I've read everywhere that Shadow and Bone is so so good!! :) :) Good luck with the ballet! I've always loved it :) To watch it :P My mom always told me that I wasn't thin enough.. so I never did ballet. But I did ritmical gymnastic :) And I really liked it :)

  13. Love your ballet picture! I started taking figure skating, and I'm having a blast! I want to be on the ice all the time, and I take that as a pretty good sign. Of course I don't have time. I gotta read sometime. :P

  14. How funny that you refer to your literary excursions as pilgrimages! I tell my husband that I'll be making a pilgrimage to Prince Edward Island one day. Congratulations on the ballet lessons! I don't think I would be brave enough to stroll into a studio at my age, but then I've never had any kind of dance classes, and it definitely shows!

  15. Your life sounds so amazing. I would love to become a librarian, but I don't think that's in the cards for me now. Congrats on getting back into ballet. :)


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