The American Library Association held their annual conference and exhibition in New Orleans this past weekend. In a stroke of kismet, I was able to attend via my membership in IBPA, the Independent Book Publishers Association. In an even luckier stroke, I got to promote my book, The Incident Under the Overpass, during a Saturday afternoon time slot at the IBPA booth. (Okay, so, that last part wasn’t just luck—I paid a modest fee for the promotion).
It was great to be able to reach out to a receptive audience of librarians (readers-for-a-living!) But the highlight for me was getting to see the opening general session: former First Lady Michelle Obama sat down with the Librarian of Congress, Carla Hayden, and discussed her forthcoming memoir, Becoming. I could go on for a very long time about the fascinating stories she shared; her obvious devotion to not just family, but to a life of service; and just how impressive she is, without being intimidating. But I have a feeling all of this will come across in her book, which is scheduled for a November 2018 release.
I’m a big proponent of grace, in all its meanings. Both the descriptor implying elegance and poise, and the spiritual (Christian) meaning: God’s favor, the gift of the Holy Spirit. It was very reaffirming to see so much grace in action this past weekend: in Michelle Obama, in Carla Hayden, and in the thousands of people who traveled to New Orleans with the ultimate aim of providing access to mind-opening content.