Each Romance Writers of America (RWA) conference begins with a full-day preconference for local librarians. This year, on Wednesday, July 28, Orlando, FL, librarians and many more enjoyed a number of panels directed to their needs. The 90 attendees heard Scottsdale Public Library, AZ, librarian, reviewer for the Chicago Tribune, and 2002 RWA Librarian of the Year John Charles discuss the Romance Readers’ Advisory Interview; authors and librarians speak to the burgeoning popularity of young adult romance; and authors Christie Ridgway and Eloisa James and LJ romance columnist and 1996 RWA Librarian of the Year Kristin Ramsdell converse about What’s New and What’s Hot in Romance Fiction?
Luncheon speaker Sherrilyn Kenyon, author of the Dark-Hunter paranormal series, recounted her experiences with libraries as a child, when a dyslexic girl discovered books and their magic. She was so enthralled, that she later became a library aid. The library was my Valhalla.
The day concluded with the annual Literacy Signing, where some 500 authors met eager fans and autographed copies of their books; all the proceeds went to literacy organizations. The 2010 event raised $55,081, to be shared among three agencies, including Nashville Adult Literary Council. Nashville was the original site for the 2010 RWA conference before floods severely damaged the Opryland Hotel. In total, RWA has contributed $687,000 to literacy groups.
Next year’s conference will be in New York City, with Librarians’ Day on Tuesday, June 28, 2011. Check the RWA website for details.