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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Back from Midwinter!

Well, we made it back from ALA Midwinter! Conventions are always so busy and so exhilarating. I spent breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with librarians this year, and what a wonderful group of people! Those who know our books know what they want from them.

Our breakfast on Saturday was with a couple of librarians . . . and I mean a couple! Malcolm and Martha Fick are librarians who once worked in the technology industry, but have come back to the school library with enthusiasm. Martha works at Moorestown Upper Elementary School in Moorestown, NJ, and her students love our Jake Maddox series. On her website, she uses icons to make searching for books easier. She has added our logo to help her students find our books quickly. Seems like a good idea to me!

Malcolm, who is a librarian at Willingboro Memorial Upper Elementary School in Willingboro, NJ, has very little budget to work with, but has a group of kids that could really use our books. He’s still experimenting, but we’re sure he’ll get his kids hooked on Stone Arch Books too! We gave him a few books to get his SAB collection started.

Saturday night dinner was with Diane Chen and her fellow librarians from Tennessee. What a hoot! We laughed all night.

Photo, left to right: Kathleen Baxter, Maryellen Gregoire, Deborah Ford, and Stone Arch Books president Joan Berge

You can see Joan and me in the picture with our friends Kathleen Baxter, author of the Gotcha books and SLJ columnist (“The Non-Fiction Booktalker”), and Deborah Ford, BER presenter (and author!). We just like hanging out at the booth with them. They always have good advice about our products.

My last visit of the weekend was with Dr. Sylvia Vardell from Texas Women’s University. She is such a wonderful mentor for me. She advised me on what part of librarianship would be appropriate for me to study (I’m starting classes this semester at The College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN). Dr. Vardell was on the very first ALSC/Booklist/YALSA Odyssey Award for Excellence in Audiobook Production Selection Committee. She had great things to say about the committee and its chair, Mary Burkey.

All in all, it was a great weekend—and I even made it to see the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps like I’d hoped to.

--Maryellen Gregoire
Director of Product Planning and Public Relations, Stone Arch Books

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