The North Island Childrens and Teens Librarian Conference

554896_631763690175047_480424389_n I’ve just got back from the aforementioned conference down in Rotorua. Like I said to the gathered, sad that in the six years as a librarian I’d never attended one. And only now that I’m no longer one I do, but as a speaker. Still, a speaker in great company. I was somewhat chuffed to be speaking alongside both Celia Lashlie, and Isobelle Carmody. I missed out on hearing Mem Fox speaking the first day though.

I spoke on my experiences as a teen librarian, from the angle of a teens author. It forced me to reflect on why it is I write, and the influences that both books and libraries have had on my life. From Space Station Zed on Sunday mornings as a kid, which read me the Hobbit on a weekly basis, to B-Boy Blues and how it made me want to write Street Dreams it was a great exercise. And a pretty good session talking to around 100 or so librarians. Thankfully in smaller groups rather than all at once.

Isobelle Carmody spoke passionately on the reasons why she writes, which resonated greatly with me and let me see more easily the themes and influences in my own writing. It’s true of pretty much all my writing, especially Street Dreams. My worlds and writing tend to depict dark places. The worlds a pretty bleak place at the best of times. But through that all I like to think that there are things like honor and loyalty that will overcome. It’s your steadfast determination and the strength of your friends that will see you to your goal.

The conference was a great atmosphere, and a great chance to catch up with colleagues from multiple libraries. Certainly enough to make me miss my days in the cloisters of knowledge. Thanks again to the organizing committee for having me. The trip away from the big smoke did good in terms of clearing my head. Time to finish this draft and get myself onto my next project.

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