Saturday, May 30, 2009

CLA Annual Conference Day 1: hockey, the unbroken chain of readers, and hospitality

Or maybe today is supposed to be day 1? Anyway, this blog post is about yesterday, Friday, when I arrived here in my hometown, dashed directly into the Palais for the Anne Galler Award (yay, Ann!) and listened to Roch Carrier's excellent (and entertaining) speech. Carrier referred to his time as National Librarian as " a great ride" - I hope I can say that at the end of my career. It just struck me as a great phrase. He touched on the decision to abolish a fee-based Amicus, and shared some funny anecdotes. One that stuck in my mind was about going to talk to a group of primary school children; when told Carrier worked at the National Library of Canada, the students were asked about how many books they thought were in the library (26? 50?). Carrier also tried to engage some surly older boys in the back of the room, and one asked him why he didn't play hockey anymore. A young girl in the front popped up with, "Stupid! You don't think he's too old?" Ah, kids. Gotta love 'em.

Carrier also spoke about the importance of libraries and librarians as culture itself; he spoke of the unbroken chain of readers in families: grandparents, parents and children reading the same books.

My afternoon was spent directing traffic via the Hospitality Desk. We recommended restaurants! We handed out maps! We suggested d├ępanneur wine! It was fun, because lots of familiar faces came by and made the time fly by, and suddenly it was 6 pm and time for the conference opening reception.

Alas, the tuna and other delicious bites did not inspire me (and I received an inspiring text message from rezlings Steph and Tuuli, who awaited me at a nearby bar) so I hightailed it out of there pretty fast. I had a lovely evening with the girls, capped off by tea with the girls and the spousal unit!

Now, today. Hospitality duties, hopefully sneak in to a few sessions, book awards banquet (I'm really looking forward to meeting Anne Laurel Carter), then it's crawl time, baby.

So, dear readers, are you part of an unbroken chain of readers in your families? God knows I am. Hmmm, now what would be our shared texts? Tell me yours! What books/songs/lullabies/dirty limericks have been passed down in your families? Read aloud to successive generations? What will you share with your children? Share below!

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