NELA 2013, Part 2: Bookmobile, Maurice Sendak at PPL, and LibraryThing

Monday morning the Portland Public Library Bookmobile came by the conference center for a visit. It’s on the small side (compared to the only other one I’ve ever been in, the Worcester Public Library Bookmobile), but wonderful all the same.


“Portable Library” helps “[create] a city of readers.”


The bookmobile had children’s, teen, and adult material, including books, graphic novels, DVDs, audiobooks, and large print books.


Monday evening I visited the main library, which is beautiful. It is also currently hosting an incredible exhibit of Maurice Sendak’s work (though it looks like this will be coming down in a few days). The exhibit included a copy of the Imagination/Celebration poster, as well as many illustrations for fans, and quotes from fans (some of whom are/were famous themselves).

This is one of my favorites (at left); Sendak replied to a little boy’s card with his own card, which included a drawing. The boy’s mother wrote back that the little boy “loved [Sendak’s] card so much he ate it!”

There are a few more quotes below (click to enlarge), including one from Judy Blume (“I cannot put into words…what his work meant to me”):


Most of the art in the exhibit was 2D – sketches, paintings, etc. – but there was also this sculpture of Max and a Wild Thing:



Upstairs on the main level of the library, between the adult fiction section and the teen area, there was a readers’ advisory desk. Not a circulation desk (that’s right up front near the entrance), not a reference desk, but a desk specifically for readers’ advisory. Raise your hand if you want to work there…



Most of my two days in Portland were spent in the hotel conference center, but what I saw of the city was really great. Speaking of which – I almost forgot – Sunday night there was a party at LibraryThing HQ, and while everyone else was by the food table, I was marveling at all the books.

DSC06069The photo’s a little dark, but there are built-in bookshelves on three walls, plus a window seat and a fireplace. Basically, every librarian’s dream room.


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