Random Things or Why Authors Love Librarians!

L.B. Simmons goes to TLA YART

I was so excited when Spencer Hill told me I was asked to attend the Texas Library Association’s Young Adult Roundtable in April for the second year in a row!

Prior to the event, all the authors are assigned a table number. We lined up as a group and made our way to the room, and when the doors opened, hoots and hollers and applause from the librarians echoed all around us.

And that’s when the real fun started.

Imagine sitting at a round table filled with 6 or 7 librarians, each of them waiting to hear about your work.  It would seem to be a nerve-wracking experience, but it’s quite the opposite.

As with my previous experience, the energy from the librarians at this event was incredibly positive and contagious, which allowed me to discuss my upcoming release, We, the Wildflowers with ease. I prefaced my discussion by stating that though it deals with some pretty heavy topics, We, the Wildflowers is a relatable journey of four friends, meant to inspire teens and give them a sense of hope in a world so often filled with ignorance and hate. I went on to describe the story in detail, doing my best to leave out spoilers. I was spurred on by the nods of agreement and satisfied smiles received with each new layer of the story revealed.

Once I was through, it was the other author’s turn to discuss her book, which was really interesting as it was a young adult fantasy, which I love to read. When she was finished, it was the librarians’ turn to ask us questions, which they did until the announcement was made that our time was up and instructing us to move to the next table. Then the process would start over all over again.

It was such a surreal experience seeing the anticipation in their eyes and the eager grins on their faces as we walked to our assigned tables. Typically, the authors are assigned in pairs, so as I took my seat and introduced myself, another author did the same opposite me. 

I was completely overwhelmed by the response received for the We, the Wildflowers storyline. And to be honest, I was touched by the fact that their interest in this book stemmed from the fact that it would positively impact teens. They seemed very vested in the opportunity to get books on their shelves that wouldn’t only motivate reading, but possibly change lives while doing it.

Bottom line, they CARE about their readers and they show it by stocking their shelves with impactful reading material. I was utterly floored by their personal connection to teens as we discussed current issues that affect them and ways that We, the Wildflowers confronted them unapologetically. 

The event is one of my favorites for that reason. I think the importance of librarians is often overlooked, especially when it comes to teen readers. They are responsible for supplying today’s youth with thought provoking, impactful books that will help mold them into the adults they will soon become. That’s a lot of responsibility when it comes down to it, and librarians do so without complaint, and all too often, without recognition.

It’s my utmost honor to share my books with these wonderful individuals. So, thank you, Texas Library Association, for giving me the opportunity to meet so many amazing librarians. The Young Adult Roundtable is such a wonderful event and I am honored to have been a part of it again this year.

Thank you for spending time with me on this blog post!

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