As we say goodbye to Booklights, I'd like to share with you three of my favorite memories related to the blog.
In June 2008, I was at the American Library Association Annual Conference in Disneyland and was hosting a dinner at a pizza restaurant for children's literature bloggers. During dinner, Jen Robinson told us all that she had been asked to write a blog for PBS Parents. She had done a guest post several months earlier, and was now being asked to do a regular blog. Excitement flowed around the table as we all congratulated Jen on her wonderful news.
The next night was the Newbery/Caldecott banquet. Jen and I attended together and were interviewed by Betsy Bird, sat next to incomparable and groundbreaking librarian Effie Lee Morris, were wowed by Brian Selznick and mesmerized by Laura Amy Schlitz. Somewhere in the middle of all of that, Jen told me that she hadn't been able to mention it at dinner the night before because the details were still being worked out, but PBS wanted me to write for them too. Of all the amazing events that evening, that's the one that took my breath away.
Fast forward to a much more recent memory. I was at another ALA conference, this time it was the Midwinter Meeting in Boston in January 2010. I was attending a huge Tweet-up for children's literature folks that use Twitter. I had registered late and didn't have a pre-printed tag with my Twitter identity printed on it. I grabbed a marker and a blank nametag and just wrote "Susan" and "Booklights" on it. I found myself in a throng of people and started to introduce myself. A woman I had never met before looked at my name tag, stopped me mid-sentence and said that of course she knew who I was... she was a regular Booklights reader. I said "Really? You read Booklights?" and then blogger Liz Burns who was in the group, turned, looked at me and said "Susan, we all read it." I was amazed and grateful then (and still am) that what was being written on Booklights was being read by so many people.
And lastly, the best memory of all. I was sitting at the reference desk at my library talking to a patron. I had already helped her find the books she was looking for when she mentioned that she thought I looked familiar. Did she know me from the library, I asked? No, it was her first time there. We talked about places we might have in common... my son's elementary school, the pool, etc. And then she realized she recognized my picture from Booklights. She told me that she read the blog all the time, used our advice and recommendations with her kids and that it had helped her a lot. Of all the memories, that one means the most, because it shows that we accomplished our mission helping parents instill a love of reading and books with their children.
Blogs are very public... and yet as writers, we only hear from a very small percentage of people who comment on posts. I hope that Booklights has helped you in some small way and that you've enjoyed reading what we've had to say. We've definitely enjoyed writing it. Thank you for all the memories.