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A Year in Review: Authors and Literacy at your library

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Margaret Peterson Haddix was the featured children’s author at the 2014 Wyoming Library Conference.

One of my favorite parts of being a librarian is having the opportunity and privilege of listening to and meeting a variety of authors.  This past year, 2014-2015, I was able to add many more to my list and even have an author Skype visit for the first time.

Teen and adult readers of YA were please to have such a high caliber of authors come to Casper and we were privileged to partner with Casper College, Wind City Books, and several secondary librarians from the Natrona County School District #1 to make these visits happen.


September 2014: The Casper College Literacy Festival. NCPL hosted an evening with the best-selling fiction author Joshilyn Jackson.

Jenn met author Margaret Peterson Haddix at Wyoming Library Conference. We use her book Found (The Missing series #1) in our middle school book club and it was a joy to meet her.  I had many readers who were very jealous!


October 2014: Even though we didn’t have any authors in October, we kicked off another One Community One Book: Middle School, featuring the book Legend by Marie Lu. I love giving away books. Teens and adults alike were reading the series and clamoring for more!


November 2014: We were approached by Wind City Books to partner on this fun event. Authors Wendelin Van Drannen (Sammy Keyes series, Flipped, The Running Dream) & Mark Parsons (Road Rash) were touring the country in their minivan. Their “He Said, She Said Author Road Show” was focused on visiting indie bookstores and they visited around 40 cities in about two months.  They incorporated music and fun into their presentation. It was perfect timing as The Running Dream was on the Soaring Eagle nominees list and Flipped is another frequent book club favorite.

Jenn’s selfie with Wendelin & Mark’s road trip van!
Vicki Burger (Wind City Books), Jenn, Mark Parsons, and Wendelin Van Draanen, November 2014.









January 2015: I have met Ellen Hopkins and listened to her speak at conferences before. Her books fly off the library shelves and are probably the ones I have to replace the most often. Her publicist emailed me in the fall asking if we would be interested in a free Skype visit.  Her latest book, Rumble, is about suicide and bullying and seemed a perfect fit for our Youth Empowerment Council, which works on educating their fellow students on those issues. Many of the members are big readers and Hopkins fans so they were stoked for this opportunity.

Youth Empowerment Council members asking questions and listening to author Ellen Hopkins.
Ellen Hopkins, via Skype









Jenn, YA librarian, with author Jay Asher!
Jenn, YA librarian, with author Jay Asher!

February 2015: Shelley Diehl, the librarian at Casper Classical Academy and Frontier Middle School, won a visit from Jay Asher, making Casper the 38th stop on his 50 States Against Bullying Tour. Check out our blog post about the event.

Youth Empowerment Council members joined us for this event and even presented Jay with a gift.  After this exciting evening, they were on pins and needles to find out which author they’d be meeting next.





Jenn and author Mike Mullin, May 2015.


May 2015: NCPL was able to wrap up our year of YA authors by hosting Mike Mullin, author of the Ashfall series. This visit was courtesy of Melissa Henry, NCHS librarian, and Tabitha Smith-Herron, KWHS librarian, who organized the Spring 2015 One School One Book collaboration between the two high schools.

Mike spoke at both high schools numerous times throughout a two day period, spoke at NCPL his last evening in Casper, and even did a presentation at the Juvenile Detention Center the final morning before he left. Mike had so much energy and broke a concrete block at most of the presentations.

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Half of the brick Mike Mullin broke at our event.









Check out the video of author Mike Mullin, who has earned a black belt in Taekwondo, keeping the audience in suspense as he breaks a brick.

I’m looking forward to 2015-2016 and seeing which YA authors will join us in promoting literature and the love of reading!

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