Books Between Cultures at YALSA's YA Lit Symposium

I've been presenting at conferences here and there over the past few years, but I've never seen anything like the eager crowd in my Books Between Cultures session at YALSA's YA Lit Symposium in Nashville last weekend.

I shouldn't have been surprised by the attendance because teen librarians get the importance of race and culture in the generation they serve. 

The comments and questions from the audience were inspiring and enriching, and afterwards many librarians like Lalitha Nataraj of Chula Vista (pictured to the left) came up to share their own between cultures experiences.

One of my favorite responses came from a young African-American librarian. "I arrived at the conference fighting back that same old feeling of invisibility," she told me. "But I left this session feeling heard and welcomed by everyone in the room." 

Her words alone made the trip worthwhile, but other connections and conversations, as well as the rich content in the sessions I attended, lead me to mull a visit to New Mexico in 2010 for the next symposium. Go if you can.

If you're interested in the topics we covered in BOOKS BETWEEN CULTURES, you may access the links and handouts for the session here, and read this excellent synopsis by Maryland librarian Melissa Rabey.

Thank you, YALSA!