Princeton Children's Book Festival
What are you doing this weekend?
Are you near Princeton?
If so, you may want to check out the Princeton Public Library's Third Annual Princeton Children's Book Festival on Saturday, September 13, from 12 to 5.
Allison Santos of the Princeton Public Library took some time to answer some questions, for those of you who may be thinking, "looks cool...but what is it?" or "that is so cool, how can my library do it"?
Liz B: I've never been to the Princeton Children's Book Festival. What can I expect at the Book Festival?
Allison: The Princeton Children's Book Festival is an afternoon event that showcases the talents of well know and not so well authors and illustrators. Under tents on the Library Plaza children and their families can meet their favorite authors, ask questions, hear them discuss or read from their works, buy their books and have them autographed or have a photo taken with them. The day is rounded out by lots of fun live entertainment for people of all ages. This year we'll have musicians, unicyclists, jugglers, a magician and face painting.
Liz B: Who will be there?
Allison: Here are some of the more well known participants; Peter Brown, Michael Buckley, Margery Cuyler, Dan Gutman, Amy Hest, Daniel Kirk, Wendy Mass and Donna Jo Napoli. For a full list of authors and illustrators and other details please visit our website at www.princetonlibrary.org/children/festival/index.html
Liz B: What will be happening?
Allison: Author readings, illustrator presentations, podcasting of the event, books for sale and for autographs, live entertainment and lots of great fun.
Liz B: How did the Princeton Children's Book Festival start?
Allison: Our first Book Festival was three years ago. It was a small event that was primarily focused on showcasing local, Princeton area authors and illustrators. Word spread about the event and by the second year authors and illustrators were contacting me to be a part of this growing annual Book Festival.
Liz B: From a library perspective, what is entailed in planning the Book Festival?
Allison: First, the support from your department is the most important. I spend approximately 8-9 months planning the Princeton Children's Book Festival on top of regular duties in the Youth Services department and my other responsibilities with NJLA, ALA and CSLP. It also doesn't hurt to know where your financial support is coming from, so developing strong partnerships is imperative. Also, you need a thick skin, don't take anything personally if an author or illustrator turns your offer down. Lastly, you need to get organized and stay organized. There are lots of little details that can sneak up on you, so as I like to say "I anticipate everything going wrong and then I am thrilled when all goes right!"
Liz B: Thanks so much, Allison!